A Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Man
BY THE SAME
(Elkin Mathews: London:
(B. W. Huebsch: New York: $1
A Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Man
B. W. HUEBSCH
COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY
B. W. HUEBSCH
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OT AMERICA
A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST
AS A YOUNG MAN
*' Et ignoias animum dimittit in artes.^'
Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIII., 18.
Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was
a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow
that was down along the road met a nicens little boy
named baby tuckoo. . , .
His father told him that story : his father looked at him
through a glass : he had a hairy face.
He was baby tuckoo. The moocow came down the road
where Betty Byrne lived : she sold lemon platt.
0, the mid rose blossoms
On the little green place.
He sang that song. That was his song.
0, the green wothe hotheth.
When you wet the bed, first it is warm then it gets
cold. Ilis mother put on the oilsheet. That had the
His mother had a nicer smell than his father. She
played on the piano the sailor's hornpipe for him to
dance. He danced:
Uncle Charles and Dante clapped. They were older
than his father and mother but Uncle Charles was older
Dante had two brushes in her press. The brush with
the maroon velvet back was for Michael Davitt and the
brush with the green velvet back was for Parnell. Dante
gave him a cachou every time he brought her a piece of
The Vances lived in number seven. They had a dif-
ferent father and mother. They were Eileen's father
and mother. When they were grown up he was going to
marry Eileen. He hid under the table. His mother said :
— 0, Stephen will apologise.
— 0, if not, the eagles will come and pull out his
eyes. — :
Pull out his eyes,
Pull out his eyes.
Pull out his eyes,
Pull out his eyes.
TP W w *
The wide playgrounds were swarming with boys. All
were shouting and the prefects urged them on with
strong cries. The evening air was pale and chilly and
after every charge and thud of the foot-ballers the
greasy leather orb flew like a heavy bird through the grey
light. He kept on the fringe of his line, out of sight of
his prefect, out of the reach of the rude feet, feigning to
run now and then. He felt his body small and weak
amid the throng of players and his eyes were weak and
watery. Rody Kickham was not like that: he would be
captain of the third line all the fellows said.
Rody Kickham was a decent fellow but Nasty Roche
was a stink. Rody Kickham had greaves in his number
and a hamper in the refectory. Nasty Roche had big
hands. He called the Friday pudding dog-in-the-blan-
ket. And one day he had asked :
— What is your name ?
Stephen had answered : Stephen Dedalus.
Then Nasty Roche had said:
— What kind of a name is that?
And when Stephen had not been able to answer Nasty
Roche had asked :
— What is your father ?
Stephen had answered:
— A gentleman.
Then Nasty Roche had asked:
— Is he a magistrate ? ^
He crept about from point to point on the fringe of
his line, making little runs now and then. But his hands
were bluish with cold. He kept his hands in the side
pockets of his belted grey suit. That was a belt round
his pocket. And belt was also to give a fellow a belt.
One day a fellow had said to Cantwell :
— I 'd give you such a belt in a second.
Cantwell had answered:
— Go and fight your match. Give Cecil Thunder a
belt. I'd like to see you. He'd give you a toe in the
rump for yourself.
That was not a nice expression. His mother had told
him not to speak with the rough boys in the college.
Nice mother ! The first day in the hall of the castle when
she had said goodbye she had put up her veil double to
her nose to kiss him: and her nose and eyes were red.
But he had pretended not to see that she was going to
cry. She was a nice mother but she was not so nice
when she cried. And his father had given him two five-
shilling pieces for pocket money. And his father had
told him if he wanted anything to write home to him and,
whatever he did, never to peach on a fellow. Then at
the door of the castle the rector had shaken hands with
his father and mother, his soutane fluttering in the
breeze, and the car had driven off with his father and
mother on it. They had cried to him from the car, wav-
ing their hands:
— Good-bye, Stephen, goodbye!
— Good-bye, Stephen, goodbye !
He W8is caught in the whirl of a scrimmage and, fear-
ful of the flashing eyes and muddy boots, bent down to
look through the legs. The fellows were struggling and
groaning and their legs were rubbing and kicking and
stamping. Then Jack Lawton 's yellow boots dodged out
the ball and all the other boots and legs ran after. He
ran after them a little way and then stopped. It was
useless to run on. Soon they would be going home for
the holidays. After supper in the study hall he would
change the number pasted up inside his desk from sev-
entyseven to seventysix.
It would be better to be in the study hall than out
there in the cold. The sky was pale and cold but there
were lights in the castle. He wondered from which win-
dow Hamilton Rowan had thrown his hat on the haha
and had there been flowerbeds at that time under the
windows. One day when he had been called to the castle
the butler had shown him the marks of the soldiers ' slugs
in the wood of the door and had given him a piece of
shortbread that the community ate. It was nice and
warm to see the lights in the castle. It was like some-
thing in a book. Perhaps Leicester Abbey was like that.
And there were nice sentences in Doctor Cornwell's
Spelling Book. They were like poetry but they were
only sentences to learn the spelling from.
Wolsey died in Leicester Abbey
Where the abbots buried him.
Canker is a disease of plants,
Caricer one of animals.
It would be nice to lie on the hearthrug before the fire,
leaning his head upon his hands, and think on those sen-
tences. He shivered as if he had cold slimy water next
his skin. That was mean of Wells to shoulder him into
the square ditch because he would not swop his little
snuffbox for Wells's seasoned hacking chestnut, the con-
queror of forty. How cold and slimy the water had
been ! A fellow had once seen a big rat jump into the
scum. Mother was sitting at the fire with Dante waiting
for Brigid to bring in the tea. She had her feet on the
fender and her jewelly slippers were so hot and they had
such a lovely warm smell ! Dante knew a lot of things.
She had taught him where the Mozambique Channel was
and what was the longest river in America and what
was the name of the highest mountain in the moon.
Father Amall knew more than Dante because he was a
priest but both his father and Uncle Charles said that
Dante was a clever woman and a wellread woman. And
when Dante made that noise after dinner and then put
up her hand to her mouth : that was heartburn.
A voice cried far out on the playground :
— All in!
Then other voices cried from the lower and third
— All in! All in!
The players closed around, flushed and muddy, and
he went among them, glad to go in. Rody Kickham held
the ball by its greasy lace. A fellow asked him to give
it one last : but he walked on without even answering the
fellow. Simon Moonan told him not to because the pre-
fect was looking. The fellow turned to Simon Moonan
and said :
— We all know why you speak. You are McGlade's
Suck was a queer word. The fellow called Simon
Moonan that name because Simon Moonan used to tie
the prefect's false sleeves behind his back and the pre-
fect used to let on to be angry. But the sound was ugly.
Once he had washed his hands in the lavatory of the
Wicklow Hotel and his father pulled the stopper up by
the chain after and the dirty water went down through
the hole in the basin. And when it had all gone down
slowly the hole in the basin had made a sound like that :
suck. Only louder.
To remember that and the white look of the lava-
tory made him feel cold and then hot. There were two
cocks that you turned and water came out : cold and hot.
He felt cold and then a little hot : and he could see the
names printed on the cocks. That was a very queer
And the air in the corridor chilled him too. It was
queer and wettish. But soon the gas would be lit and
in burning it made a light noise like a little song. Al-
ways the same : and when the fellows stopped talking in
the playroom you could hear it.
It was the hour for sums. Father Arnall wrote a hard
sum on the board and then said :
— Now then, who will win? Go ahead, York! Go
Stephen tried his best but the sum was too hard and
he felt confused. The little silk badge with the white
rose on it that was pinned on the breast of his jacket be-
gan to flutter. He was no good at sums but he tried his
best so that York might not lose. Father Arnall's face
looked very black but he was not in a wax : he was laugh-
ing. Then Jack Lawton cracked his fingers and Father
Arnall looked at his copybook and said :
— Right. Bravo Lancaster! The red rose wins.
Come on now, York! Forge ahead!
Jack Lawton looked over from his side. The little
silk badge with the red rose on it looked very rich be-
cause he had a blue sailor top on. Stephen felt his own
face red too, thinking of all the bets about who would
get first place in Elements, Jack Lawton or he. Some
weeks Jack Lawton got the card for first and some weeks
he got the card for first. His white silk badge fluttered
and fluttered as he worked at the next sum and heard
Father Arnall's voice. Then all his eagerness passed
away and he felt his face quite cool. He thought his
face must be white because it felt so cool. He could not
get out the answer for the sum but it did not matter.
White roses and red roses : those were beautiful colours
to think of. And the cards for first place and third place
were beautiful colours too : pink and cream and lavender.
Lavender and cream and pink roses were beautiful to
think of. Perhaps a wild rose might be like those col-
ours and he remembered the song about the wild rose blos-
soms on the little green place. But you could not have
a green rose. But perhaps somewhere in the world you
The bell rang and then the classes began to file out
of the rooms and along the corridors towards the refec-
tory. He sat looking at the two prints of butter on his
plate but could not eat the damp bread. The table-
cloth was damp and limp. But he drank off the hot
weak tea which the clumsy scullion, girt with a white
apron, poured into his cup. He w^ondered whether the
scullion 's apron was damp too or whether all white things
were cold and damp. Nasty Roche and Saurin drank
cocoa that their people sent them in tins. They said
they could not drink the tea ; that it was hogwash. Their
fathers were magistrates, the fellows said.
All the boys seemed to him very strange. They had
all fathers and mothers and different clothes and voices.
He longed to be at home and lay his head on his mother 's
lap. But he could not: and so he longed for the play
and study and prayers to be over and to be in bed.
He drank another cup of hot tea and Fleming said :
— What's up? Have you a pain or what's up with
— I don *t know, Stephen said.
— Sick in your bread basket — Fleming said — be-
cause your face looks white. It will go away.
— yes, Stephen said.
But he was not sick there. He thought that he was
sick in his heart if you could be sick in that place. Flem-
ing was very decent to ask him. He wanted to cry. He
leaned his elbows on the table and shut and opened the
flaps of his ears. Then he heard the noise of the refec-
tory every time he opened the flaps of his ears. It made
a roar like a train at night. And when he closed the flaps
the roar was shut off like a train going into a tunnel.
That night at Dalkey the train had roared like that
and then, when it went into the tunnel, the roar stopped.
He closed his eyes and the train went on, roaring and
then stopping; roaring again, stopping. It was nice to
hear it roar and stop and then roar out of the tunnel
again and then stop.
Then the higher line fellows began to come down along
the matting in the middle of the refectory, Paddy Rath
and Jimmy Magee and the Spaniard who was allowed
to smoke cigars and the little Portuguese who wore the
woolly cap. And then the lower line tables and the ta-
bles of the third line. And every single fellow had a
different way of walking.
He sat in a corner of the playroom pretending to watch
a game of dominos and once or twice he was able to
hear for an instant the little song of the gas. The pre-
fect was at the door with some boys and Simon Moonan
was knotting his false sleeves. He was telling them some-
thing about Tullabeg.
Then he went away from the door and Wells came
over to Stephen and said :
— Tell us, Dedalus, do you kiss your mother before
you go to bed ?
— I do.
Wells turned to the other fellows and said :
— 0, I say, here's a fellow says he kisses his mother
every night before he goes to bed.
The other fellows stopped their game and turned round,
laughing. Stephen blushed under their eyes and said :
— I do not.
Wells said :
— 0, I say, here's a fellow says he doesn't kiss his
mother before he goes to bed.
They all laughed again. Stephen tried to laugh with
them. He felt his whole body hot and confused in a
moment. What was the right answer to the question?
He had given two and still Wells laughed. But Wells
must know the right answer for he was in third of gram-
mar. He tried to think of Wells's mother but he did not
dare to raise his eyes to Wells's face. He did not like
Wells 's face. It was Wells who had shouldered him into
the square ditch the day before because he would not
swop his little snuAHDox for Wells's seasoned hacking
chestnut, the conqueror of forty. It was a mean thing to
do ; all the fellows said it was. And how cold and slimy
the water had been ! And a fellow had once seen a big
rat jump plop into the scum.
The cold slime of the ditch covered his whole body;
and, when the bell rang for study and the lines filed out
of the playrooms, he felt the cold air of the corridor and
staircase inside his clothes. He still tried to think what
was the right answer. Was it right to kiss his mother or
wrong to kiss his mother ? What did that mean, to kiss ?
You put your face up like that to say goodnight and then
his mother put her face down. That was to kiss. His
mother put her lips on his cheek ; her lips were soft and
they wetted his cheek ; and they made a tiny little noise :
kiss. Why did people do that with their two faces?
Sitting in the study hall he opened the lid of his desk
and changed the number pasted up inside from seventy-
seven to seventysix. But the Christmas vacation was
very far away : but one time it would come because the
earth moved round always.
There was a picture of the earth on the first page of
his geography : a big ball in the middle of clouds. Flem-
ing had a box of crayons and one night during free study
he had coloured the earth green and the clouds maroon.
That was like the two brushes in Dante's press, the brush
with the green velvet back for Parnell and the brush
with the maroon velvet back for Michael Davitt. But he
had not told Fleming to colour them those colours. Flem-
ing had done it himself.
He opened the geography to study the lesson ; but he
could not learn the names of places in America. Still
they were all different places that had different names.
They were all in different countries and the countries
were in continents and the continents were in the world
and the world was in the universe.
He turned to the flyleaf of the geography and read
what he had written there : himself, his name and where
Class of Elements
Clongowes Wood College
That was in his writing : and Fleming one night for a
cod had written on the opposite page :
Stephen Dedalus is my name,
Ireland is my nation.
Clongowes is my dwellingplace
And heaven my expectation.
He read the verses backwards but then they were not
poetry. Then he read the flyleaf from the bottom to the
top till he came to his own name. That was he; and
he read down the page again. What was after the uni-
verse? Nothing. But was there anything round the
universe to show where it stopped before the nothing
place began ? It could not be a wall but there could be
a thin thin line there all round everything. It was very
big to think about everything and everywhere. Only
God could do that. He tried to think what a big thought
that must be but he could think only of God. God
was God's name just as his name was Stephen. Dieii
was the French for God and that was God's name too;
and when anyone prayed to God and said Dieu then
God knew at once that it was a French person that was
praying. But though there were different names for
God in all the different languages in the world and God
understood what all the people who prayed said in their
different languages still God remained always the same
God and God's real name was God.
It made him very tired to think that way. It made
him feel his head very big. He turned over the flyleaf
and looked wearily at the green round earth in the mid-
dle of the maroon clouds. He wondered which was right,
to be for the green or for the maroon, because Dante had
ripped the green velvet back off the brush that was for
Parnell one day with her scissors and had told him that
Parnell was a bad man. He wondered if they were
arguing at home about that. That was called politics.
There were two sides in it : Dante was on one side and
his father and Mr. Casey were on the other side but his
mother and Uncle Charles were on no side. Every day
there was something in the paper about it.
It pained him that he did not know well what politics
meant and that he did not know where the universe
ended. He felt small and weak. When would he be
like the fellows in Poetry and Rhetoric? They had big
voices and big boots and they studied trigonometry.
That was very far away. First came the vacation and
then the next term and then vacation again and then
again another term and then again the vacation. It was
like a train going in and out of tunnels and that was like
the noise of the boys eating in the refectory when you
opened and closed the flaps of the ears. Term, vacation ;
tunnel, out ; noise, stop. How far away it was ! It was
better to go to bed to sleep. Only prayers in the chapel
and then bed. He shivered and yawned. It would be
lovely in bed after the sheets got a bit hot. First they
were so cold to get into. He shivered to think how cold
they were first. But then they got hot and then he could
sleep. It was lovely to be tired. He yawned again.
Night prayers and then bed : he shivered and wanted to
yawn. It would be lovely in a few minutes. He felt a
warm glow creeping up from the cold shivering sheets,
warmer and warmer till he felt warm all over, ever so
warm and yet he shivered a little and still wanted to
The bell rang for night prayers and he filed out of the
study hall after the others and down the staircase and
along the corridors to the chapel. The corridors were
darkly lit and the chapel was darkly lit. Soon all would
be dark and sleeping. There was cold night air in the
chapel and the marbles were the colour the sea was at
night. The sea was cold day and night : but it was colder
at night. It was cold and dark under the seawall beside
his father's house. But the kettle would be on the hob to
The prefect of the chapel prayed above his head and
his memory knew the responses :
Lord, open our lips
And our mouths shall announce Thy praise.
Incline unto our aid, God!
Lord, make haste to help us!
There was a cold night smell in the chapel. But it
was a holy smell. It was not like the smell of the old
peasants who knelt at the back of the chapel at Sunday
mass. That was a smell of air and rain and turf and
corduroy. But they were very holy peasants. They
breathed behind him on his neck and sighed as they
prayed. They lived in Clane, a fellow said : there were
little cottages there and he had seen a woman standing at
the halfdoor of a cottage with a child in her arms, as the
cars had come past from Sallins. It would be lovely to
sleep for one night in that cottage before the fire of smok-
ing turf, in the dark lit by the fire, in the warm dark,
breathing the smell of the peasants, air and rain and turf
and corduroy. But, 0, the road there between the trees
was dark ! You would be lost in the dairk. It made him
afraid to think of how it was.
He heard the voice of the prefect of the chapel saying
the last prayer. He prayed it too against the dark out-
side under the trees.
Visit, we beseech Thee, Lord, this habitation and
drive away from it all the snares of the enemy. May
Thy holy angels dwell herein to preserve us in peace
and may Thy blessing be always upon us through
Christ our Lord. Amen.
His fingers trembled as he undressed himself in the
dormitory. He told his fingers to hurry up. He had
to undress and then kneel and say his own prayers and
be in bed before the gas was lowered so that he might not
go to hell when he died. He rolled his stockings off and
put on his nightshirt quickly and knelt trembling at his
bedside and repeated his prayers quickly, fearing that
the gas would go down. He felt his shoulders shaking as
he murmured :
God bless my father and my mother and spare them
God bless my little brothers and sisters and spare
them to me !
God bless Dante and Uncle Charles and spare them
He blessed himself and climbed quickly into bed and,
tucking the end of the nightshirt under his feet, curled
himself together under the cold white sheets, shaking and
trembling. But he would not go to hell when he died ;
and the shaking would stop. A voice bade the boys in
the dormitory goodnight. He peered out for an instant
over the coverlet and saw the yellow curtains round and
before his bed that shut him off on all sides. The light
was lowered quietly.
The prefect's shoes went away. Where? Down the
staircase and along the corridors or to his room at the
end? He saw the dark. Was it true about the black
dog that walked there at night with eyes as big as car-
riagelamps? They said it was the ghost of a murderer.
A long shiver of fear flowed over his body. He saw the
dark entrance hall of the castle. Old servants in old
dress were in the ironingroom above the staircase. It
was long ago. The old servants were quiet. There was
a fire there but the hall was still dark. A figure came up
the staircase from the hall. He wore the white cloak of
a marshal; his face was pale and strange; he held his
hand pressed to his side. He looked out of strange eyes
at the old servants. They looked at him and saw their
master's face and cloak and knew that he had received
his death wound. But only the dark was where they
looked : only dark silent air. Their master had received
his death wound on the battlefield of Prague far away
over the sea. He was standing on the field; his hand
was pressed to his side ; his face was pale and strange and
he wore the white cloak of a marshal.
how cold and strange it was to think of that ! All
the dark was cold and strange. There were pale strange
faces there, great eyes like carriagelamps. They were
the ghosts of murderers, the figures of marshals who had
received their death wound on battlefields far away over
the sea. What did they wish to say that their faces were
so strange 1
Visit, we beseech Thee, Lordy this hahitation
and drive away from it all . . ,
Going home for the holidays ! That would be lovely :
the fellows had told him. Getting up on the cars in the
early wintry morning outside the door of the castle.
The cars were rolling on the gravel. Cheers for the rec-
Hurray ! Hurray ! Hurray !
The cars drove past the chapel and all caps were raised.
They drove merrily along the country roads. The
drivers pointed with their whips to Bodenstown. The
fellows cheered. They passed the farmhouse of the Jolly
Farmer. Cheer after cheer after cheer. Through Clane
they drove, cheering and cheered. The peasant women
stood at the halfdoors, the men stood here and there.
The lovely smell there was in the wintry air: the smell
of Clane : rain and wintry air and turf smouldering and
The train was full of fellows: a long long chocolate
train with cream facings. The guards went to and fro
opening, closing, locking, unlocking the doors. They
were men in dark blue and silver; they had silvery
whistles and their keys made a quick music : click, click :
And the train raced on over the flat lands and past the
Hill of Allen. The telegraph poles were passing, pass-
ing. The train went on and on. It knew. There were
lanterns in the hall of his father's house and ropes of
green branches. There were holly and ivy round the
pierglass and holly and ivy, green and red, twined round
the chandeliers. There were red holly and green ivy
round the old portraits on the walls. Holly and ivy for
him and for Christmas.
Lovely . . .
All the people. Welcome home, Stephen! Noises of
welcome. His mother kissed him. Was that right?
His father was a marshal now : higher than a magistrate.
Welcome home, Stephen !
Noises . . .
There was a noise of curtainrings running back along
the rods, of water being splashed in the basins. There
was a noise of rising and dressing and washing in the
dormitory: a noise of clapping of hands as the prefect
went up and down telling the fellows to look sharp. A
pale sunlight showed the yellow curtains drawn back, the
tossed beds. His bed was very hot and his face and body
were very hot.
He got up and sat on the side of his bed. He was
weak. He tried to pull on his stocking. It had a horrid
rough feel. The sunlight was queer and cold.
Fleming said :
— Are you not well ?
He did not know ; and Fleming said :
— Get back into bed. I'll tell McGlade you're not
— He 's sick.
— Who is?
— Tell McGlade.
— Get back into bed.
— Is he sick ?
A fellow held his arms while he loosened the stocking
clinging to his foot and climbed back into the hot bed.
He crouched down between the sheets, glad of their
tepid glow. He heard the fellows talk among themselves
about him as they dressed for mass. It was a mean thing
to do, to shoulder him into the square ditch, they were
Then their voices ceased; they had gone. A voice at
his bed said :
— Dedalus, don 't spy on us, sure you won *t ?
Wells's face was there. He looked at it and saw that
Wells was afraid.
— I didn't mean to. Sure you won't?
His father had told him, whatever he did, never to
peach on a fellow. He shook his head and answered no
and felt glad.
— I didn't mean to, honour bright. It was only for
cod. I'm sorry.
The face and the voice went away. Sorry because he
was afraid. Afraid that it was some disease. Canker
was a disease of plants and cancer one of animals : or an-
other different. That was a long time ago then out on
the playgrounds in the evening light, creeping from point
to point on the fringe of his line, a heavy bird flying low
through the grey light. Leicester Abbey lit up. Wol-
sey died there. The abbots buried him themselves.
It was not Wells's face, it was the prefect's. He was
not foxing. No, no: he was sick really. He was not
foxing. And he felt the prefect 's hand on his forehead ;
and he felt his forehead warm and damp against the
prefect's cold damp hand. That was the way a rat felt,
slimy and damp and cold. Every rat had two eyes to
look out of. Sleek slimy coats, little little feet tucked
up to jump, black slimy eyes to look out of. They could
understand how to jump. But the minds of rats could
not understand trigonometry. When they were dead
they lay on their sides. Their coats dried then. They
were only dead things.
The prefect was there again and it was his voice that
was saying that he was to get up, that Father Minister
had said he was to get up and dress and go to the in-
firmary. And while he was dressing himself as quickly
as he could the prefect said :
— We must pack off to Brother Michael because we
have the collywobbles !
He was very decent to say that. That was all to make
him laugh. But he could not laugh because his cheeks
and lips were all shivery: and then the prefect had to
laugh by himself.
The prefect cried :
— Quick march ! Hayf oot ! Strawf oot !
They went together down the staircase and along the
corridor and past the bath. As he passed the door he
remembered with a vague fear the warm turf -coloured
bogwater, the warm moist air, the noise of plunges, the
smell of the towels, like medicine.
Brother Michael was standing at the door of the in-
firmary and from the door of the dark cabinet on his
right came a smell like medicine. That came from the
bottles on the shelves. The prefect spoke to Brother
Michael and Brother Michael answered and called the
prefect sir. He had reddish hair mixed with grey and a
queer look. It was queer that he would always be a
brother. It was queer too that you could not call him
sir because he was a brother and had a different kind of
look. Was he not holy enough or why could he not
catch up on the others ?
There were two beds in the room and in one bed there
was a fellow : and when they went in he called out :
— Hello ! It 's young Dedalus ! What 's up ?
— The sky is up, Brother Michael said.
He was a fellow out of the third of grammar and, while
Stephen was undressing, he asked Brother Michael to
bring him a round of buttered toast.
— Ah, do ! he said.
— Butter you up! said Brother Michael. You 11 get
your walking papers in the morning when the doctor
— Will I T the fellow said. I m not well yet.
Brother Michael repeated :
— You'll get your walking papers. I tell you.
He bent down to rake the fire. He had a long back
like the long back of a tramhorse. He shook the poker
gravely and nodded his head at the fellow out of third of
Then Brother Michael went away and after a while the
fellow out of third of grammar turned in towards the
wall and fell asleep.
That was the infirmary. He was sick then. Had they
written home to tell his mother and father? But it
would be quicker for one of the priests to go himself to
tell them. Or he would write a letter for the priest to
I am sick. I want to go home. Please come and
take me home. I am in the infirmary.
Your fond son,
How far away they were! There was cold sunlight
outside the window. He wondered if he would die.
You could die just the same on a sunny day. He might
die before his mother came. Then he would have a dead
mass in the chapel like the way the fellows had told him
it was when Little had died. All the fellows would be
at the mass, dressed in black, all with sad faces. "Wells
too would be there but no fellow would look at him.
The rector would be there in a cope of black and gold
and there would be tall yellow candles on the altar and
round the catafalque. And they would carry the coffin
out of the chapel slowly and he would be buried in the
little graveyard of the community off the main avenue
of limes. And Wells would be sorry then for what he
had done. And the bell would toll slowly.
He could hear the tolling. He said over to himself the
song that Brigid had taught him.
Dingdong! The castle hell!
Farewell, my mother!
Bury me in the old churchyard
Beside my eldest brother.
My coffin shall be black,
Six angels at my back,
Two to sing and two to pray
And two to carry my soul away.
How beautiful and sad that was ! How beautiful the
words were where they said Bury me in the old church-
yard! A tremor passed over his body. How sad and
how beautiful! He wanted to cry quietly but not for
himself : for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.
The bell! The bell! Farewell! fareweU!
The cold sunlight was weaker and Brother Michael was
standing at his bedside with a bowl of beef tea. He was
glad for his mouth was hot and dry. He could hear them
playing in the playgrounds. And the day was going on
in the college just as if he were there.
Then Brother Michael was going away and the fellow
out of third of grammar told him to be sure and come
back and tell him all the news in the paper. He told
Stephen that his name was Athy and that his father kept
a lot of racehorses that were spiffing jumpers and that
his father would give a good tip to Brother Michael any
time he wanted it because Brother Michael was very de-
cent and always told him the news out of the paper they
got every day up in the castle. There was every kind of
news in the paper: accidents, shipwrecks, sports and
— Now it is all about politics in the papers, he said.
Do your people talk about that too?
— Yes, Stephen said.
— Mine too, he said.
Then he thought for a moment and said:
— You have a queer name, Dedalus, and I have a queer
name too, Athy. My name is the name of a town. Your
name is like Latin.
Then he asked :
— Are you good at riddles 1
— Not very good.
Then he said :
— Can you answer me this one ? Why is the county
of Kildare like the leg of a fellow's breeches?
Stephen thought what could be the answer and then
— I give it up.
— Because there is a thigh in it, he said. Do you see
the joke ? Athy is the town in the county Kildare, and
a thigh is the other thigh.
— 0, I see, Stephen said.
— That 's an old riddle, he said.
After a moment he said:
— I say!
— What? asked Stephen.
— You know, he said, you can ask that riddle another
— Can you ? said Stephen.
— The same riddle, he said. Do you know the other
way to ask it?
— No, said Stephen.
— Can you not think of the other way ? he said.
He looked at Stephen over the bedclothes as he spoke.
Then he lay back on the pillow and said :
— There is another way but I won't tell you what it is.
Why did he not tell it ? His father, who kept the race-
horses, must be a magistrate too like Saurin's father and
Nasty Roche 's father. He thought of his own father, of
how he sang songs while his mother played and of how
he always gave him a shilling when he asked for sixpence
and he felt sorry for him that he was not a magistrate
like the other boys' fathers. Then why was he sent to
that place with them ? But his father had told him that
he would be no stranger there because his granduncle had
presented an address to the Liberator there fifty years
before. You could know the people of that time by their
old dress. It seemed to him a solemn time : and he won-
dered if that was the time when the fellows in Clongowes
wore blue coats with brass buttons and yellow waistcoats
and caps of rabbit-skin and drank beer like grownup
people and kept greyhounds of their own to course the
He looked at the window and saw that the daylight
had grown weaker. There would be cloudy grey light
over the playgrounds. There was no noise on the play-
grounds. The class must be doing the themes or per-
haps Father Arnall was reading out of the book.
It was queer that they had not given him any medi-
cine. Perhaps Brother Michael would bring it back
when he came. They said you got stinking stuff to
drink when you were in the infirmary. But he felt bet-
ter now than before. It would be nice getting better
slowly. You could get a book then. There was a book
in the library about Holland. There were lovely foreign
names in it and pictures of strange-looking cities and
ships. It made you feel so happy.
How pale the light was at the window ! But that was
nice. The fire rose and fell on the wall. It was like
waves. Someone had put coal on and he heard voices.
They were talking. It was the noise of the waves. Or
the waves were talking among themselves as they rose
He saw the sea of waves, long dark waves rising and
falling, dark under the moonless night. A tiny light
twinkled at the pierhead where the ship was entering:
and he saw a multitude of people gathered by the waters*
edge to see the ship that was entering their harbour. A
tall man stood on the deck, looking out towards the flat
dark land : and by the light at the pierhead he saw his
face, the sorrowful face of Brother Michael.
He saw him lift his hand towards the people and
heard him say in a loud voice of sorrow over the waters :
— He is dead. We saw him lying upon the catafalque.
A wail of sorrow went up from the people.
— Parnell! Parnell! He is dead!
They fell upon their knees, moaning in sorrow.
And he saw Dante in a maroon velvet dress and with
a green velvet mantle hanging from her shoulders walk-
ing proudly and silently past the people who knelt by
the waters^ edge.
A great fire, banked high and red, flamed in the grate
and under the ivy twined branches of the chandelier the
Christmas table was spread. They had come home a lit-
tle late and still dinner was not ready : but it would be
ready in a jiffy, his mother had said. They were waiting
for the door to open and for the servants to come in,
holding the big dishes covered with their heavy metal
All were waiting : Uncle Charles, who sat far away in
the shadow of the window, Dante and Mr Casey, who sat
in the easy chairs at either side of the hearth, Stephen,
seated on a chair between them, his feet resting on the
toasted boss. Mr Dedalus looked at himself in the pier-
glass above the mantelpiece, waxed out his moustache
ends and then, parting his coat tails, stood with his back
to the glowing fire : and still from time to time he with-
drew a hand from his coat tail to wax out one of his
moustache ends. Mr Casey leaned his head to one side
and, smiling, tapped the gland of his neck with his fin-
gers. And Stephen smiled too for he knew now that it
was not true that Mr Casey had a purse of silver in his
throat. He smiled to think how the silvery noise which
Mr Casey used to make had deceived him. And when
he had tried to open Mr Casey's hand to see if the purse
of silver was hidden there he had seen that the fingers
could not be straightened out: and Mr Casey had told
him that he had got those three cramped fingers making
a birthday present for Queen Victoria.
Mr Casey tapped the gland of his neck and smiled at
Stephen with sleepy eyes : and Mr Dedalus said to him :
— Yes. Well now, that's all right. 0, we had a good
walk, hadn't we, John? Yes ... I wonder if
there's any likelihood of dinner this evening. Yes.
... 0, well now, we got a good breath of ozone
round the Head today. Ay, bedad.
He turned to Dante and said ;
— You didn't stir out at all, Mrs Riordan?
Dante frowned and said shortly :
Mr Dedalus dropped his coat tails and went over to
the sideboard. He brought forth a great stone jar of
whisky from the locker and filled the decanter slowly,
bending now and then to see how much he had poured
in. Then replacing the jar in the locker he poured a
little of the whisky into two glasses, added a little water
and came back with them to the fireplace.
— A thimbleful, John, he said, just to whet your
Mr Casey took the glass, drank, and placed it near
him on the mantelpiece. Then he said :
— Well, I can't help thinking of our friend Christo-
pher manufacturing . . .
He broke into a fit of laughter and coughing and
— . . . manufacturing that champagne for those
Mr Dedalus laughed loudly.
— Is it Christy? he said. There's more cunning in
one of those warts on his bald head than in a pack of
He inclined his head, closed his eyes, and, licking his
lips profusely, began to speak with the voice of the
— And he has such a soft mouth when he 's speaking
to you, don't you know. He's very moist and watery
about the dewlaps, God bless him.
Mr Casey was still struggling through his fit of cough-
ing and laughter. Stephen, seeing and hearing the hotel
keeper through his father's face and voice, laughed.
Mr Dedalus put up his eyeglass and, staring down at
him, said quietly and kindly :
— "What are you laughing at, you little puppy, you ?
The servants entered and placed the dishes on the
table. Mrs Dedalus followed and the places were ar-
— Sit over, she said.
Mr Dedalus went to the end of the table and said :
— Now, Mrs Riordan, sit over. John, sit you down,
He looked round to where Uncle Charles sat and said :
— Now then, sir, there 's a bird here waiting for you.
When all had taken their seats he laid his hand on the
cover and then said quickly, withdrawing it :
— Now, Stephen.
Stephen stood up in his place to say the grace before
Bless us, Lord, and these Thy gifts which through
Thy bounty we are about to receive through Christ our
All blessed themselves and Mr Dedalus with a sigh of
pleasure lifted from the dish the heavy cover pearled
around the edge with glistening drops.
Stephen looked at the plump turkey which had lain,
trussed and skewered, on the kitchen table. He knew
that his father had paid a guinea for it in Dunn's of
D 'Olier Street and that the man had prodded it often at
the breastbone to show how good it was: and he remem-
bered the man 's voice when he had said :
— Take that one, sir. That's the real Ally Daly.
Why did Mr Barrett in Clongowes call his pandy-
bat a turkey? But Clongowes was far away: and the
warm heavy smell of turkey and ham and celery rose
from the plates and dishes and the great fire was banked
high and red in the grate and the green ivy and red
holly made you feel so happy and when dinner was ended
the big plum pudding would be carried in, studded with
peeled almonds and sprigs of holly, with bluish fire
running around it and a little green flag flying from the
It was his first Christmas dinner and he thought of
his little brothers and sisters who were waiting in the
nursery, as he had often waited, till the pudding came.
The deep low collar and the Eton jacket made him feel
queer and oldish : and that morning when his mother had
brought him down to the parlour, dressed for mass, his
father had cried. That was because he was thinking
of his own father. And Uncle Charles had said so
Mr Dedalus covered the dish and began to eat hun-
grily. Then he said :
— Poor old Christy, he's nearly lopsided now with
— Simon, said Mrs Dedalus, you haven't given Mrs
Eiordan any sauce.
Mr Dedalus seized the sauceboat.
— Haven't I? he cried. Mrs Kiordan, pity the poor
Dante covered her plate with her hands and said :
— No, thanks.
Mr Dedalus turned to Uncle Charles.
— How are you off, sir ?
— Eight as the mail, Simon.
— I'm all right. Go on yourself.
— Mary? Here, Stephen, here's something to make
your hair curl.
He poured sauce freely over Stephen's plate and set
the boat again on the table. Then he asked Uncle
Charles was it tender. Uncle Charles could not speak
because his mouth was full but he nodded that it was.
— That was a good answer our friend made to the
canon. What? said Mr Dedalus.
— I didn't think he had that much in him, said Mr
— I^ll pay your dues, father, when you cease turning
the house of God into a polling-'booth.
— A nice answer, said Dante, for any man calling
himself a catholic to give to his priest.
— They have only themselves to blame, said Mr
Dedalus suavely. If they took a fool's advice they
would confine their attention to religion.
— It is religion, Dante said. They are doing their
duty in warning the people.
— We go to the house of God, Mr Casey said, in all
humility to pray to our Maker and not to hear election
— It is religion, Dante said again. They are right.
They must direct their flocks.
— And preach politics from the altar, is it ? asked ^Ir
— Certainly, said Dante. It is a question of public
morality. A priest would not be a priest if he did not
tell his flock what is right and what is wrong.
Mrs Dedalus laid down her knife and fork, saying :
— For pity sake and for pity sake let us have no po-
litical discussion on this day of all days in the year.
— Quite right, ma'am, said Uncle Charles. Now
Simon, that's quite enough now. Not another word now.
— Yes, yes, said Mr Dedalus quickly.
He uncovered the dish boldly and said :
— Now then, who 's for more turkey ?
Nobody answered. Dante said :
— Nice language for any catholic to use !
— Mrs Riordan, I appeal to you, said Mrs Dedalus,
to let the matter drop now.
Dante turned on her and said :
— And am I to sit here and listen to the pastors of my
church being flouted?
— Nobody is saying a word against them, said Mr
Dedalus, so long as they don't meddle in politics.
— The bishops and priests of Ireland have spoken, said
Dante, and they must be obeyed.
— Let them leave politics alone, said Mr Casey ; or the
people may leave their church alone.
— You hear ? said Dante turning to Mrs Dedalus.
— Mr Casey ! Simon ! said Mrs Dedalus, let it end now.
— Too bad ! Too bad ! said Uncle Charles.
— What? cried Mr Dedalus. Were we to desert him
at the bidding of the English people ?
— He was no longer worthy to lead, said Dante. He
was a public sinner.
— We are all sinners and black sinners, said Mr Casey
— Woe be to the man by whom the scandal cometh!
said Mrs Riordan. It would he better for him that a
millstone were tied about his neck and that he were cast
into the depths of the sea rather than that he should
scandalise one of these, my least little ones. That is the
language of the Holy Ghost.
— And very bad language if you ask me, said Mr
— Simon ! Simon ! said Uncle Charles. The boy.
— Yes, yes, said Mr Dedalus. I meant about the
. . . I was thinking about the bad language of that
railway porter. Well now, that's all righf. Here,
Stephen, show me your plate, old chap. Eat away now.
He heaped up the food on Stephen's plate and served
Uncle Charles and Mr Casey to large pieces of turkey
and splashes of sauce. Mrs Dedalus was eating little and
Dante sat with her hands in her lap. She was red in the
face. Mr Dedalus rooted with the carvers at the end of
the dish and said :
— There's a tasty bit here we call the pope's nose. If
any lady or gentleman . . .
He held a piece of fowl up on the prong of the carv-
ingfork. Nobody spoke. He put it on his own plate,
— Well, you can 't say but you were asked. I think I
had better eat it myself because I'm not well in my
He winked at Stephen and, replacing the dish-cover,
began to eat again.
There was a silence while he ate. Then he said :
— Well now, the day kept up fine after all. There
were plenty of strangers down too.
Nobody spoke. He said again :
— I think there were more strangers down than last
He looked round at the others whose faces were bent
towards their plates and, receiving no reply, waited for
a moment and said bitterly:
— Well, my Christmas dinner has been spoiled any-
— There could be neither luck nor grace, Dante said,
in a house where there is no respect for the pastors of
Mr Dedalus threw his knife and fork noisily on his
— Respect ! he said. Is it for Billy with the lip or for
the tub of guts up in Armagh ? Respect !
— Princes of the church, said Mr Casey with slow
— Lord Leitrim's coachman, yes, said Mr Dedalus.
— They are the Lord's anointed, Dante said. They
are an honour to their country.
— Tub of guts, said Mr Dedalus coarsely. He has a
handsome face, mind you, in repose. You should see
that fellow lapping up his bacon and cabbage of a cold
winter's day. Johnny!
He twisted his features into a grimace of heavy bes-
tiality and made a lapping noise with his lips.
— Really, Simon, you should not speak that way be-
fore Stephen. It's not right.
— 0, he 11 remember all this when he grows up, said
Dante hotly — the language he heard against God and
religion and priests in his own home.
— Let him remember too, cried Mr Casey to her from
across the table, the language with which the priests and
the priests' pawns broke Parnell's heart and hounded
him into his grave. Let him remember that too when he
— Sons of bitches ! cried Mr Dedalus. When he was
down they turned on him to betray him and rend him
like rats in a sewer. Lowlived dogs ! And they look it !
By Christ, they look it!
— They behaved rightly, cried Dante. They obeyed
their bishops and their priests. Honour to them !
— Well, it is perfectly dreadful to say that not even
for one day in the year, said Mrs Dedalus, can we be
free from these dreadful disputes !
Uncle Charles raised his hands mildly and said :
— Come now, come now, come now ! Can we not have
our opinions whatever they are without this bad temper
and this bad language? It is too bad surely.
Mrs Dedalus spoke to Dante in a low voice but Dante
— I will not say nothing. I will defend my church
and my religion when it is insulted and spit on by rene-
Mr Casey pushed his plate rudely into the middle of
the table and, resting his elbows before him, said in a
hoarse voice to his host :
— Tell me, did I tell you that story about a very fa-
— You did not, John, said Mr Dedalus.
— Why then, said Mr Casey, it is a most instructive
story. It happened not long ago in the county Wicklow
where we are now.
He broke off and, turning towards Dante, said with
quiet indignation :
— And I may tell you, ma'am, that I, if you mean me,
am no renegade catholic. I am a catholic as my father
was and his father before him and his father before him
again when we gave up our lives rather than sell our
— The more shame to you now, Dante said, to speak
as you do.
— The story, John, said Mr Dedalus smiling. Let us
have the story anyhow.
— Catholic indeed! repeated Dante ironically. The
blackest protestant in the land would not speak the lan-
guage I have heard this evening.
Mr Dedalus began to sway his head to and fro, croon-
ing like a country singer.
— I am no protestant, I tell you again, said Mr Casey
'Mr Dedalus, still crooning and swaying his head, began
to sing in a grunting nasal tone :
0, come all you Roman catholics
That never went to mass.
He took up his knife and fork again in good humour
and set to eating, saying to Mr Casey :
— Let us have the story, John. It will help us to
Stephen looked with affection at Mr Casey's face which
stared across the table over his joined hands. He liked
to sit near him at the fire, looking np at his dark fierce
face. But his dark eyes were never fierce and his slow
voice was good to listen to. But why was he then
against the priests? Because Dante must be right then.
But he had heard his father say that she was a spoiled
nun and that she had come out of the convent in the
AUeghanies when her brother had got the money from
the savages for the trinkets and the chainies. Perhaps
that made her severe against Parnell. And she did not
like him to play with Eileen because Eileen was a protes-
tant and when she was young she knew children that used
to play with protestants and the protestants used to
make fun of the litany of the Blessed Virgin. Tower of
Ivory, they used to say, House of Gold! How could a
woman be a tower of ivory or a house of gold? Who
was right then ? And he remembered the evening in the
infirmary in Clongowes, the dark waters, the light at the
pierhead and the moan of sorrow from the people when
they had heard.
Eileen had long white hands. One evening when play-
ing tig she had put her hands over his eyes: long and
white and thin and cold and soft. That was ivory: a
cold white thing. That was the meaning of Tower of
— ■ The story is very short and sweet, Mr Casey said.
It was one day down in Arklow, a cold bitter day, not
long before the chief died. May God have mercy on
He closed his eyes wearily and paused. Mr Dedalus
took a bone from his plate and tore some meat from it
with his teeth, saying:
— Before he was killed, you mean.
Mr Casey opened his eyes, sighed and went on :
— He was down in Arklow one day. We were down
there at a meeting and after the meeting was over we
had to make our way to the railway station through the
crowd. Such booing and baaing, man, you never heard.
They called us all the names in the world. Well there
was one old lady, and a drunken old harridan she was
surely, that paid all her attention to me. She kept
dancing along beside me in the mud bawling and scream-
ing into my face: Priest hunter! The Paris Funds!
Mr Fox! Kitty 0*Shea!
— And what did you do, John ? asked Mr Dedalus.
— I let her bawl away, said ^Mr. Casey. It was a cold
day and to keep up my heart I had (saving your pres-
ence, ma'am) a quid of Tullamore in my mouth and sure
I couldn't say a word in any case because my mouth
was full of tobacco juice.
— Well, John?
— Well. I let her bawl away, to her heart's content,
Kitty O'Shea and the rest of it till at last she called that
lady a name that I won't sully this Christmas board nor
your ears, ma'am, nor my own lips by repeating.
He paused. Mr Dedalus, lifting his head from the
— And what did you do, John ?
— Do ! said Mr Casey. She stuck her ugly old face up
at me when she said it and I had my mouth full of to-
bacco juice. I bent down to her and Phth! says I to
her like that.
He turned aside and made the act of spitting.
— Phth ! says I to her like that, right into her eye.
He clapped a hand to his eye and gave a hoarse scream
— Jesus, Mary and Joseph! says she. I'm blinded!
I'm blinded and drownded!
He stopped in a fit of coughing and laughter, re-
— I'm blinded entirely.
Mr Dedalus laughed loudly and lay back in his chair
while Uncle Charles swayed his head to and fro.
Dante looked terribly angry and repeated while they
— Very nice ! Ha ! Very nice !
It was not nice about the spit in the woman's eye.
But what was the name the woman had called Kitty
O'Shea that Mr Casey would not repeat? He thought
of Mr Casey walking through the crowds of people and
making speeches from a wagonette. That was what he
had been in prison for and he remembered that one
night Sergeant O'Neill had come to the house and had
stood in the hall, talking in a low voice with his father
and chewing nervously at the chinstrap of his cap. And
that night Mr Casey had not gone to Dublin by train but
a car had come to the door and he had heard his father
say something about the Cabinteely road.
He was for Ireland and Parnell and so was his father :
and so was Dante too 'for one night at the band on the
esplanade she had hit a gentleman on the head with her
umbrella because he had taken off his hat when the band
played God save the Queen at the end.
Mr Dedalus gave a snort of contempt.
— Ah, John, he said. It is true for them. We are an
unfortunate priestridden race and always were and al-
ways will be till the end of the chapter.
Uncle Charles shook his head, saying :
— A bad business ! A bad business !
Mr Dedalus repeated :
— A priestridden Godforsaken race !
lie pointed to the portrait of his grandfather on the
wall to his right.
— Do you see that old chap up there, John? he said.
He was a good Irishman when there was no money in the
job. He was condemned to death as a whiteboy. But
he had a saying about our clerical friends, that he would
never let one of them put his two feet under his mahog-
Dante broke in angrily:
— If we are a priestridden race we ought to be proud
of it! They are the apple of God's eye. Touch them
not, says Christ, for they are the apple of My eye.
— And can we not love our country then? asked Mr
Casey. Are we not to follow the man that was born to
lead us ?
— A traitor to his country ! replied Dante. A traitor,
an adulterer! The priests were right to abandon him.
The priests were always the true friends of Ireland.
— Were they, faith? said Mr Casey.
He threw his fist on the table and, frowning angrily,
protruded one finger after another.
— Didn't the bishops of Ireland betray us in the time
of the union when Bishop Lanigan presented an address
of loyalty to the Marquess Cornwallis? Didn't the bish-
ops and priests sell the aspirations of their country in
1829 in return for catholic emancipation? Didn't they
denounce the f enian movement from the pulpit and in the
confession box? And didn't they dishonour the ashes of
Terence Bellew MacManus ?
His face was glowing with anger and Stephen felt the
glow rise to his own cheek as the spoken words thrilled
him. Mr Dedalus uttered a guffaw of coarse scorn.
— 0, by God — he cried — I forgot little old Paul
Cullen ! Another apple of God 's eye !
Dante bent across the table and cried to Mr Casey :
— Right ! Right ! They were always right ! God and
morality and religion come first.
Mrs Dedalus, seeing her excitement, said to her :
— Mrs Riordan, don't excite yourself answering them.
— God and religion before everything ! Dante cried.
God and religion before the world !
Mr Casey raised his clenched fist and brought it down
on the table with a crash.
— Very well, then, he shouted hoarsely, if it comes to
that, no God for Ireland !
— John ! John ! cried Mr Dedalus, seizing his guest by
the coat sleeve.
Dante stared across the table, her cheeks shaking. Mr
Casey struggled up from his chair and l>ent across the
table towards her, scraping the air from- before his eyes
with one hand as though he were tearing aside a cobweb.
— No God for Ireland! he cried. We have had too
much God in Ireland. Away with God !
— Blasphemer! Devil! screamed Dante, starting to
her feet and almost spitting in his face.
Uncle Charles and Mr Dedalus pulled Mr Casey back
into his chair again, talking to him from both sides rea-
sonably. He stared before him out of his dark flaming
— Away with God, I say !
Dante shoved her chair violently aside and left the
table, upsetting her napkinring which rolled slowly along
the carpet and came to rest against the foot of an easy-
chair. Mrs Dedalus rose quickly and followed her to-
wards the door. At the door Dante turned round vio-
lently and shouted down the room, her cheeks flushed
and quivering with rage :
— Devil out of hell! We won! We crushed him to
death ! Fiend !
The door slammed behind her.
Mr Casey, freeing his arms from his holders, suddenly
bowed his head on his hands with a sob of pain.
— Poor Parnell ! he cried loudly. My dead king !
He sobbed loudly and bitterly.
Stephen, raising his terrorstricken face, saw that his
father's eyes were full of tears.
The fellows talked together in little groups.
One fellow said :
— They were caught near the Hill of Lyons.
— Who caught them ?
— Mr Gleeson and the minister. They were on a car.
The same fellow added :
— A fellow in the higher line told me.
— But why did they run away, tell us t
— I know why, Cecil Thunder said. Because they had
f ecked cash out of the rector 's room.
— Who f ecked it?
— Kickham's brother. And they all went shares in it.
But that was stealing. How could they have done
— A fat lot you know about it, Thunder ! Wells said.
I know why they scut.
— Tell us why.
— I was told not to, "Wells said.
— 0, go on, Wells, all said. You might tell us. We
won't let it out.
Stephen bent forward his head to hear. Wells looked
round to see if anyone was coming. Then he said se-
— You know the altar wine they keep in the press in
— Well, they drank that and it was found out who did
it by the smell. And that's why they ran away, if you
want to know.
And the fellow who had spoken first said :
— Yes, that's what I heard too from the fellow in the
The fellows were all silent. Stephen stood among
them, afraid to speak, listening. A faint sickness of
awe made him feel weak. How could they have done
that? He thought of the dark silent sacristy. There
were dark wooden presses there where the crimped sur-
plices lay quietly folded. It was not the chapel but still
you had to speak under your breath. It was a holy
place. He remembered the summer evening he had been
there to be dressed as boat-bearer, the evening of the
procession to the little altar in the wood. A strange and
holy place. The boy that held the censer had swung it
gently to and fro near the door with the silvery cap
lifted by the middle chain to keep the coals lighting.
That was called charcoal: and it had burned quietly as
the fellow had swung it gently and had given off a weak
sour smell. And then when all were vested he had stood
holding out the boat to the rector and the rector had
put a spoonful of incense in and it had hissed on the
The fellows were talking together in little groups here
and there on the playground. The fellows seemed to
him to have grown smaller : that was because a sprinter
had knocked him down the day before, a fellow out of
second of grammar. He had been thrown by the fel-
low's machine lightly on the cinderpath and his spec-
tacles had been broken in three pieces and some of the
grit of the cinders had gone into his mouth.
That was why the fellows seemed to him smaller and
farther away and the goalposts so thin and far and the
soft grey sky so high up. But there was no play on
the football grounds for cricket was coming: and some
said that Barnes would be the prof and some said it
would be Flowers. And all over the playgrounds they
were playing rounders and bowling twisters and lobs.
And from here and from there came the sounds of the
cricket bats through the soft grey air. They said : pick,
pack, pock, puck: little drops of water in a fountain
slowly falling in the brimming bowl.
Athy, who had been silent, said quietly :
— You are all wrong.
All turned towards him eagerly.
— Do you know ?
— Who told you?
— Tell us, Athy.
Athy pointed across the playground to where Simon
Moonan was walking by himself kicking a stone before
— Ask him, he said.
The fellows looked there and then said :
— Why him?
— Is he in it ?
Athy lowered his voice and said:
— Do you know why those fellows scut? I will tell
you but you must not let on you know.
— Tell us, Athy. Go on. You might if you know.
He paused for a moment and then said mysteriously:
— They were caught with Simon Moonan and Tusker
Boyle in the square one night.
The fellows looked at him and asked :
— What doing?
All the fellows were silent : and Athy said :
— And that's why?
Stephen looked at the faces of the fellows but they
were all looking across the playground. He wanted to
ask somebody about it. What did that mean about the
smugging in the square? Why did the five fellows out
of the higher line run away for that? It was a joke, he
thought. Simon Moonan had nice clothes and one night
he had shown him a ball of creamy sweets that the fel-
lows of the football fifteen had rolled down to him along
the carpet in the middle of the refectory when he was
at the door. It was the night of the match against the
Bective Rangers and the ball was made just like a red
and green apple only it opened and it was full of the
creamy sweets. And one day Boyle had said that an
elephant had two tuskers instead of two tusks and that
was why he was called Tusker Boyle but some fellows
called him Lady Boyle because he was always at his
nails, paring them.
Eileen had long thin cool white hands too because she
was a girl. They were like ivory ; only soft. That was
the meaning of Tower of Ivory but protestants could not
understand it and made fun of it. One day he had stood
beside her looking into the hotel grounds. A waiter was
running up a trail of bunting on the flagstaff and a fox
terrier was scampering to and fro on the sunny lawn.
She had put her hand into his pocket where his hand was
and he had felt how cool and thin and soft her hand was.
She had said that pockets were funny things to have:
and then all of a sudden she had broken away and had
run laughing down the sloping curve of the path. Her
fair hair had streamed out behind her like gold in the
sun. Tower of Ivory, House of Gold. By thinking of
things you could understand them.
But why in the square? You went there when you
wanted to do something. It was all thick slabs of slate
and water trickled all day out of tiny pinholes and there
was a queer smell of stale water there. And behind the
door of one of the closets there was a drawing in red
pencil of a bearded man in a Roman dress with a brick
in each hand and underneath was the name of the
Balbus was building a wall.
Some fellows had drawn it there for a cod. It had a
funny face but it was very like a man with a beard. And
on the wall of another closet there was written in back-
hand in beautiful writing:
Julius Ccesar wrote The Calico Belly.
Perhaps that was why they were there because it was
a place where some fellows wrote things for cod. But
all the same it was queer what Athy said and the way
he said it. It was not a cod because they had run away.
He looked with the others across the playground and
began to feel afraid.
At last Fleming said :
— And we are all to be punished for what other fel-
— I won't come back, see if I do, Cecil Thunder said.
Three days' silence in the refectory and sending us up
for six and eight every minute.
— Yes, said Wells. And old Barrett has a new way
of twisting the note so that you can't open it and fold
it again to see how many ferulae you are to get. I won't
come back too.
— Yes, said Cecil Thunder, and the prefect of studies
was in second of grammar this morning.
— Let us get up a rebellion, Fleming said. Will we ?
All the fellows were silent. The air was very silent
and you could hear the cricket bats but more slowly than
before : pick, pock.
— What is going to be done to them?
— Simon Moonan and Tusker are going to be flogged,
Athy said, and the fellows in the higher line got their
choice of flogging or being expelled.
— And which are they taking? asked the fellow who
had spoken first.
— All are taking expulsion except Corrigan, Athy an-
swered. He 's going to be flogged by Mr Gleeson.
— I know why, Cecil Thunder said. He is right and
the other fellows are wrong because a flogging wears off
after a bit but a fellow that has been expelled from col-
lege is known all his life on account of it. Besides
Gleeson won't flog him hard.
— It's best of his play not to, Fleming said.
— I wouldn^t like to be Simon Moonan and Tusker,
Cecil Thunder said. But I don't believe they will be
flogged. Perhaps they will be sent up for twice nine.
— No, no, said Athy. They'll both get it on the vital
Wells rubbed himself and said in a crying voice :
— Please, sir, let me off !
Athy grinned and turned up the sleeves of his jacket,
It can 't he helped;
It must he done.
So down with your breeches
And out with your hum.
The fellows laughed ; but he felt that they were a little
afraid. In the silence of the soft grey air he heard the
cricket bats from here and from there : pock. That was
a sound to hear but if you were hit then you would feel
a pain. The pandybat made a sound too but not like
that. The fellows said it was made of whalebone and
leather with lead inside : and he wondered what was the
pain like. There were different kinds of sounds. A
long thin cane would have a high whistling sound and he
wondered what was that pain like. It made him shivery
to think of it and cold: and what Athy said too. But
what was there to laugh at in it ? It made him shivery :
but that was because you always felt like a shiver when
you let down your trousers. It was the same in the
bath when you undressed yourself. He wondered who
had to let them down, the master or the boy himself.
how could they laugh about it that way?
He looked at Athy 's rolled-up sleeves and knuckly inky
hands. lie had rolled up his sleeves to show how Mr
Gleeson would roll up his sleeves. But Mr Gleeson had
round shiny cuffs and clean white wrists and fattish
white hands and the nails of them were long and pointed.
Perhaps he pared them too like Lady Boyle. But they
were terribly long and pointed nails. So long and cruel
they were though the white fattish hands were not cruel
but gentle. And though he trembled with cold and
fright to think of the cruel long nails and of the high
whistling sound of the cane and of the chill you felt at
the end of your shirt when you undressed yourself yet
he felt a feeling of queer quiet pleasure inside him to
think of the white fattish hands, clean and strong and
gentle. And he thought of what Cecil Thunder had
said; that Mr Gleeson would not flog Corrigan hard.
And Fleming had said he would not because it was best
of his play not to. But that was not why.
A voice from far out on the playground cried :
— All in!
And other voices cried :
— All in! All in!
During the writing lesson he sat with his arms folded,
listening to the slow scraping of the pens. Mr Harford
went to and fro making little signs in red pencil and
sometimes sitting beside the boy to show him how to
hold his pen. He had tried to spell out the headline for
himself though he knew already what it was for it was
the last of the book. Zeal without prudence is like a
ship adrift. But the lines of the letters were like fine
invisible threads and it was only by closing his right eye
tight tight and staring out of the left eye that he could
make out the full curves of the capital.
But Mr Harford was very decent and never got into a
wax. All the other masters got into dreadful waxes.
But why were they to suffer for what fellows in the
higher line did? Wells had said that they had drunk
some of the altar wine out of the press in the sacristy
and that it had been found out who had done it by the
smell. Perhaps they had stolen a monstrance to run
away with it and sell it somewhere. That must have
been a terrible sin, to go in there quietly at night, to
open the dark press and steal the flashing gold thing
into which God was put on the altar in the middle of
flowers and candles at benediction while the incense went
up in clouds at both sides as the fellow swung the censer
and Dominic Kelly sang the first part by himself in the
choir. But God was not in it of course when they stole
it. But still it was a strange and a great sin even to
touch it. lie thought of it with deep awe; a terrible
and strange sin: it thrilled him to think of it in the
silence when the pens scraped lightly. But to drink the
altar wine out of the press and be found out by the smell
was a sin too: but it was not terrible and strange. It
only made you feel a little sickish on account of the
smell of the wine. Because on the day when he had
made his first holy communion in the chapel he had shut
his eyes and opened his mouth and put out his tongue
a little : and when the rector had stooped down to give
him the holy communion he had smelt a faint winy smell
off the rector's breath after the wine of the mass. The
word was beautiful: wine. It made you think of dark
purple because the grapes were dark purple that grew
in Greece outside houses like white temples. But the
faint smell off the rector's breath had made him feel a
sick feeling on the morning of his first communion. The
day of your first communion was the happiest day of
your life. And once a lot of generals had asked Napo-
leon what was the happiest day of his life. They thought
he would say the day he won some great battle or the
day he was made an emperor. But he said :
— Gentlemen, the happiest day of my life was the day
on which I made my first holy communion.
Father Arnall came in and the Latin lesson began and
he remained still leaning on the desk with his arms
folded. Father Arnall gave out the theme-books and
he said that they were scandalous and that they were all
to be written out again with the corrections at once.
But the worst of all was Fleming's theme because the
pages were stuck together by a blot : and Father Arnall
held it up by a corner and said it was an insult to any
master to send him up such a theme. Then he asked
Jack Lawton to decline the noun mare and Jack Lawton
stopped at the ablative singular and could not go on with
— You should be ashamed of yourself, said Father
Arnall sternly. You, the leader of the class !
Then he asked the next boy and the next and the next.
Nobody knew. Father Arnall became very quiet, more
and more quiet as each boy tried to answer it and could
not. But his face was black looking and his eyes were
staring though his voice was so quiet. Then he asked
Fleming and Fleming said that that word had no plural.
Father Arnall suddenly shut the book and shouted at
— Kneel out there in the middle of the class. You
are one of the idlest boys I ever met. Copy out your
themes again the rest of you.
Fleming moved heavily out of his place and knelt be-
tween the two last benches. The other boys bent over
their theme-books and began to write. A silence filled
the classroom and Stephen, glancing timidly at Father
Amall's dark face, saw that it was a little red from the
wax he was in.
Was that a sin for Father Arnall to be in a wax or
was he allowed to get into a wax when the boys were
idle because that made them study better or was he only
letting on to be in a wax? It was because he was al-
lowed because a priest would know what a sin was and
would not do it. But if he did it one time by mistake
what would he do to go to confession? Perhaps he
would go to confession to the minister. And if the min-
ister did it he would go to the rector : and the rector to
the provincial : and the provincial to the general of the
Jesuits. That was called the order : and he had heard his
father say that they were all clever men. They could
all have become high-up people in the world if they had
not become Jesuits. And he wondered what Father
Arnall and Paddy Barrett would have become and what
Mr McGlade and Mr Gleeson would have become if they
had not become Jesuits. It was hard to think what be-
cause you would have to think of them in a different
way with different coloured coats and trousers and with
beards and moustaches and different kinds of hats.
The door opened quietly and closed. A quick whisper
ran through the class : the prefect of studies. There was
an instant of dead silence and then the loud crack of a
pandybat on the last desk. Stephen *s heart leapt up
— Any boys want flogging here. Father Arnall ? cried
the prefect of studies. Any lazy idle loafers that want
flogging in this class?
He came to the middle of the class and saw Fleming
on his knees.
— Hoho! he cried. Who is this boy? Why is he on
his knees ? What is your name, boy ?
— Fleming, sir.
— Hoho, Fleming! An idler of course. I can see
it in your eye. Why is he on his knees, Father Ar-
. — He wrote a bad Latin theme. Father Arnall said,
and he missed all the questions in grammar.
— Of course he did! cried the prefect of studies, of
course he did ! A bom idler ! I can see it in the corner
of his eye.
He banged his pandybat down on the desk and cried :
— Up, Fleming ! Up, my boy !
Fleming stood up slowly.
— Hold out ! cried the prefect of studies.
Fleming held out his hand. The pandybat came down
on it with a loud smacking sound : one, two, three, four,
— Other hand !
The pandybat came down again in six loud quick
— Kneel down! cried the prefect of studies.
Fleming knelt down squeezing his hands under his
armpits, his face contorted with pain, but Stephen knew
how hard his hands were because Fleming was always
rubbing rosin into them. But perhaps he -was in great
pain for the noise of the pandybat was terrible.
Stephen's heart was beating and fluttering.
— At your work, all of you! shouted the prefect of
studies. We want no lazy idle loafers here, lazy idle
little schemers. At your work, I tell you. Father
Dolan will be in to see you every day. Father Dolan
will be in tomorrow.
He poked one of the boys in the side with the pandy-
bat, saying :
— You, boy ! When will Father Dolan be in again ?
— Tomorrow, sir, said Tom Furlong's voice.
— Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, said the
prefect of studies. Make up your minds for that.
Every day Father Dolan. Write away. You, boy, who
are you 1
Stephen's heart jumped suddenly.
— Dedalus, sir.
— Why are you not writing like the others?
— I . . . my . . .
He could not speak with fright.
— Why is he not writing. Father Arnall ?
— He broke his glasses, said Father Arnall, and I
exempted him from work.
— Broke? What is this I hear? What is this?
Your name is? said the prefect of studies.
— Dedalus, sir.
— Out here, Dedalus. Lazy little schemer. I see
schemer in your face. Where did you break your
Stephen stumbled into the middle of the class, blinded
by fear and haste.
— Where did you break your glasses? repeated the
prefect of studies.
— The cinderpath, sir.
— Iloho! The cinderpath! cried the prefect of
studies. I know that trick.
Stephen lifted his eyes in wonder and saw for a mo-
ment Father Dolan 's whitegrey not young face, his
baldy whitegrey head with fluff at the sides of it, the
steel rims of his spectacles and his no-coloured eyes look-
ing through the glasses. Why did he say he knew that
— Lazy idle little loafer ! cried the prefect of studies.
Broke my glasses! An old schoolboy trick! Out with
your hand this moment !
Stephen closed his eyes and held out in the air his
trembling hand with the palm upwards. He felt the
prefect of studies touch it for a moment at the fingers
to straighten it and then the swish of the sleeve of the
soutane as the pandybat was lifted to strike. A hot
burning stinging tingling blow like the loud crack of a
broken stick made his trembling hand crumple together
like a leaf in the fire: and at the sound and the pain
scalding tears were driven into his eyes. His whole
body was shaking with fright, his arm was shaking and
his crumpled burning livid hand shook like a loose leaf
in the air. A cry sprang to his lips, a prayer to be let
off. But though the tears scalded his eyes and his limbs
quivered with pain and fright he held back the hot tears
and the cry that scalded his throat.
— Other hand ! shouted the prefect of studies.
Stephen drew back his maimed and quivering right
arm and held out his left hand. The soutane sleeve
swished again as the pandybat was lifted and a loud
crashing sound and a fierce maddening tingling burning
pain made his hand shrink together with the palms and
fingers in a livid quivering mass. The scalding water
burst forth from his eyes and, burning with shame and
agony and fear, he drew back his shaking arm in terror
and burst out into a whine of pain. His body shook
with a palsy of fright and in shame and rage he felt the
scalding cry come from hi^ throat and the scalding tears
falling out of his eyes and down his flaming cheeks,
— Kneel down ! cried the prefect of studies.
Stephen knelt down quickly pressing his beaten hands
to his sides. To think of them beaten and swollen with
pain all in a moment made him feel so sorry for them
as if they were not his own but someone else's that he
felt sorry for. And as he knelt, calming the last sobs
in his throat and feeling the burning tingling pain
pressed in to his sides, he thought of the hands which
he had held out in the air with the palms up and of the
firm touch of the prefect of studies when he had steadied
the shaking fingers and of the beaten swollen reddened
mass of palm and fijigers that shook helplessly in the air.
— Get at your work, all of you, cried the prefect of
studies from the door. Father Dolan will be in every
day to see if any boy, any lazy idle little loafer wants
flogging. Every day. Every day.
The door closed behind him.
The hushed class continued to copy out the themes.
Father Arnall rose from his seat and went among them,
helping the boys with gentle words and telling them the
mistakes they had made. His voice was very gentle and
soft. Then he returned to his seat and said to Fleming
— You may return to your places, you two.
Fleming and Stephen rose and, walking to their seats,
sat down. Stephen, scarlet with shame, opened a book
quickly with one weak hand and bent down upon it, his
face close to the page.
It was unfair and cruel because the doctor had told
him not to read without glasses and he had written home
to his father that morning to send him a new pair. And
Father Arnall had said that he need not study till the
new glasses came. Then to be called a schemer before
the class and to be pandied when he always got the card
for first or second and was the leader of the Yorkists!
How could the prefect of studies know that it was a
trick? He felt the touch of the prefect's fingers as
they had steadied his hand and at first he had thought
he was going to shake hands with him because the fingers
were soft and firm : but then in an instant he had heard
the swish of the soutane sleeve and the crash. It was
cruel and unfair to make him kneel in the middle of the
class then: and Father Arnall had told them both that
they might return to their places without making any
difference between them. He listened to Father Arnall 's
low and gentle voice as he corrected the themes. Per-
haps he was sorry now and wanted to be decent. But
it was unfair and cruel. The prefect of studies was a
priest but that was cruel and unfair. And his white-
grey face and the no-coloured eyes behind the steel
rimmed spectacles were cruel looking because he had
steadied the hand first with his firm soft fingers and
that was to hit it better and louder.
— It's a stinking mean thing, that's what it is, said
Fleming in the corridor as the classes were passing out
in file to the refectory, to pandy a fellow for what is not
— You really broke your glasses by accident, didn't
you? Nasty Roche asked.
Stephen felt his heart filled by Fleming's words and
did not answer.
— Of course he did! said Fleming. I wouldn't stand
it. I 'd go up and tell the rector on him.
— Yes, said Cecil Thunder eagerly, and I saw him
lift the pandybat over his shoulder and he's not allowed
to do that.
— Did they hurt much ? Nasty Roche asked.
— Very much, Stephen said.
— I wouldn^t stand it, Fleming repeated, from Baldy-
head or any other Baldyhead. It's a stinking mean low
trick, that's what it is. I'd go straight up to the rector
and tell him about it after dinner.
— Yes, do. Yes, do, said Cecil Thunder.
— Yes, do. Yes, go up and tell the rector on him,
Dedalus, said Nasty Roche, because he said that he'd
come in tomorrow again and pandy you.
— Yes, yes. Tell the rector, all said.
And there were some fellows out of second of gram-
mar listening and one of them said :
— The senate and the Roman people declared that
Dedalus had been wrongly punished.
It was wrong ; it was unfair and cruel : and, as he sat
in the refectory, he suffered time after time in memory
the same humiliation until he began to wonder whether
it might not really be that there was something in his
face which made him look like a schemer and he wished
he had a little mirror to see. But there could not be;
and it was unjust and cruel and unfair.
He could not eat the blackish fish fritters they got on
Wednesdays in Lent and one of his potatoes had the
mark of the spade in it. Yes, he would do what the
fellows had told him. He would go up and tell the
rector that he had been wrongly punished. A thing like
that had been done before by somebody in history, by
some great person whose head was in the books of his-
tory. And the rector would declare that he had been
wrongly punished because the senate and the Roman
people always declared that the men who did that had
been wrongly punished. Those were the great men
whose names were in Richmal Magnall's Questions.
History was all about those men and what they did and
that was what Peter Parley's Tales about Greece and
Home were all about. Peter Parley himself was on the
first page in a picture. There was a road over a heath
with grass at the side and little bushes : and Peter Parley
had a broad hat like a protestant minister and a big
stick and he was walking fast along the road to Greece
It was easy what he had to do. All he had to do
was when the dinner was over and he came out in his
turn to go on walking but not out to the corridor but up
the staircase on the right that led to the castle. He had
nothing to do but that; to turn to the right and walk
fast up the staircase and in half a minute he would be
in the low dark narrow corridor that led through the
castle to the rector's room. And every fellow had said
that it was unfair, even the fellow out of second of
grammar who had said that about the senate and the
What would happen? He heard the fellows of the
higher line stand up at the top of the refectory and heard
their steps as they came down the matting : Paddy Rath
and Jimmy Magee and the Spaniard and the Portuguese
and the fifth was big Corrigan who was going to be
flogged by Mr Gleeson. That was why the prefect of
studies had called him a schemer and pandied him for
nothing: and, straining his weak eyes, tired with the
tears, he watched big Corrigan 's broad shoulders and
big hanging black head passing in the file. But he had
done something and besides Mr Gleeson would not flog
him hard : and he remembered how big Corrigan looked
in the bath. He had skin the same colour as the turf-
coloured bogwater in the shallow end of the bath and
when he walked along the side his feet slapped loudly
on the wet tiles and at every step his thighs shook a
little because he was fat.
The refectory was half empty and the fellows were
still passing out in file. He could go up the staircase
because there was never a priest or a prefect outside
the refectory door. But he could not go. The rector
would side with the prefect of studies and think it was
a schoolboy trick and then the prefect of studies would
come in every day the same, only it would be worse be-
cause he would be dreadfully waxy at any fellow going
up to the rector about him. The fellows had told him
to go but they would not go themselves. They had
forgotten all about it. No, it was best to forget all
about it and perhaps the prefect of studies had only
said he would come in. No, it was best to hide out of
the way because when you were small and young you
could often escape that way.
The fellows at his table stood up. He stood up and
passed out among them in the file. He had to decide.
He was coming near the door. If he went on with the
fellows he could never go up to the rector because he
could not leave the playground for that. And if he
went and was pandied all the same all the fellows would
make fun and talk about young Dedalus going up to the
rector to tell on the prefect of studies.
He was walking down along the matting and he saw
the door before him. It was impossible: he could not.
He thought of the baldy head of the prefect of studies
with the cruel no-coloured eyes looking at him and he
heard the voice of the prefect of studies asking him
twice what his name was. Why could he not remember
the name when he was told the first time? Was he not
listening the first time or was it to make fun out of the
name? The great men in the history had names like
that and nobody made fun of them. It was his own
name that he should have made fun of if he wanted to
make fun. Dolan : it was like the name of a woman who
He had reached the door and, turning quickly up to
the right, walked up the stairs; and, before he could
make up his mind to come back, he had entered the low
dark narrow corridor that led to the castle. And as he
crossed the threshold of the door of the corridor he saw,
without turning his head to look, that all the fellows
were looking after him as they went filing by.
He passed along the narrow dark corridor, passing
little doors that were the doors of the rooms of the com-
munity. He peered in front of him and right and left
through the gloom and thought that those must be
portraits. It was dark and silent and his eyes were
weak and tired with tears so that he could not see. But
he thought they were the portraits of the saints and
great men of the order who were looking down on him
silently as he passed : Saint Ignatius Loyola holding an
open book and pointing to the words Ad Majorem Dei
Gloriam in it, saint Francis Xavier pointing to his chest,
Lorenzo Kicci with his berretta on his head like one of
the prefects of the lines, the three patrons of holy youth,
saint Stanislaus Kostka, saint Aloysius Gonzaga and
Blessed John Berchmans, all with young faces because
they died when they were young, and Father Peter
Kenny sitting in a chair wrapped in a big cloak.
He came out on the landing above the entrance hall
and looked about him. That was where Hamilton
Rowan had passed and the marks of the soldiers' slugs
were there. And it was there that the old servants had
seen the ghost in the white cloak of a marshal.
An old servant was sweeping at the end of the land-
ing. He asked him where was the rector 's room and the
old servant pointed to the door at the far end and looked
after him as he went on to it and knocked.
There was no answer. He knocked again more loudly
and his heart jumped when he heard a muffled voice say :
— Come in !
He turned the handle and opened the door and
fumbled for the handle of the green baize door inside.
He found it and pushed it open and went in.
He saw the rector sitting at a desk writing. There
was a skull on the desk and a strange solemn smell in
the room like the old leather of chairs.
His heart was beating fast on account of the solemn
place he was in and the silence of the room: and he
looked at the skull and at the rector's kind-looking face.
— Well, my little man, said the rector, what is it?
Stephen swallowed down the thing in his throat and
— I broke my glasses, sir.
The rector opened his mouth and said :
Then he smiled and said:
— Well, if we broke our glasses we must write home
for a new pair.
— I wrote home, sir, said Stephen, and Father Amall
said I am not to study till they come.
— Quite right ! said the rector.
Stephen swallowed down the thing again and tried to
keep his legs and his voice from shaking.
— But, sir . . .
— Father Dolan came in today and pandied me be-
cause I was not writing my theme.
The rector looked at him in silence and he could feel
the blood rising to his face and the tears about to rise
to his eyes.
The rector said :
— Your name is Dedalus, isn't it?
— Yes, sir.
— And where did you break your glasses ?
— ^On the cinderpath, sir. A fellow was coming out
of the bicycle house and I fell and they got broken. I
don't know the fellow's name.
The rector looked at him again in silence. Then he
smiled and said :
— 0, well, it was a mistake, I am sure Father Dolan
did not know.
— But I told him I broke them, sir, and he pandied
— Did you tell him that you had written home for a
new pair ? the rector asked.
— No, sir.
— well then, said the rector. Father Dolan did not
understand. You can say that I excuse you from your
lessons for a few days.
Stephen said quickly for fear his trembling would
prevent him :
— Yes, sir, but Father Dolan said he will come in to-
morrow to pandy me again for it.
— Yery well, the rector said, it is a mistake and I
shall speak to Father Dolan myself. WiU. that do
Stephen felt tlie tears wetting his eyes and mur-
— yes sir, thanks.
The rector held his hand across the side of the desk
where the skull was and Stephen, placing his hand in it
for a moment, felt a cool moist palm.
— Good day now, said the rector, withdrawing his
hand and bowing.
— Good day, sir, said Stephen.
He bowed and walked quietly out of the room, closing
the doors carefully and slowly.
But when he had passed the old servant on the land-
ing and was again in the low narrow dark corridor he
began to walk faster and faster. Faster and faster he
hurried on through the gloom excitedly. He bumped
his elbow against the door at the end and, hurrying down
the staircase, walked quickly through the two corridors
and out into the air.
He could hear the cries of the fellows on the play-
grounds. He broke into a run and, running quicker and
quicker, ran across the cinderpath and reached the third
line playground, panting.
The fellows had seen him running. They closed round
him in a ring, pushing one against another to hear.
— Tell us ! Tell us !
— What did he say?
— Did you go in ?
— What did he say ?
— Tell us ! Tell us !
He told them what he had said and what the rector
had said and, when he had told them, all the fellows
flung their caps spinning up into the air and cried :
— Hurroo 1
They caught their caps and sent them up again spin-
ning skyhigh and cried again;
— Hurroo ! Hurroo !
They made a cradle of their locked hands and hoisted
him up among them and carried him along till he
struggled to get free. And when he had escaped from
them they broke away in all directions, flinging their
caps again into the air and whistling as they went spin-
ning up and crying :
— Hurroo !
And they gave three groans for Baldyhead Dolan and
three cheers for Conmee and they said he was the de-
centest rector that was ever in Clongowes.
The cheers died away in the soft grey air. He was
alone. He was happy and free: but he would not be
anyway proud with Father Dolan. He would be very
quiet and obedient : and he wished that he could do some-
thing kind for him to show him that he was not proud.
The air was soft and grey and mild and evening was
coming. There was the smell of evening in the air, the
smell of the fields in the country where they digged up
turnips to peel them and eat them when they went out
for a walk to Major Barton's, the smell there was in the
little wood beyond the pavilion where the gallnuts were.
The fellows were practising long shies and bowling
lobs and slow twisters. In the soft grey silence he could
hear the bump of the balls: and from here and from
there through the quiet air the sound of the cricket bats :
pick, pack, pock, puck : like drops of water in a fountain
falling softly in the brimming bowl.
Uncle Charles smoked such black twist that at last his
nephew suggested to him to enjoy his morning smoke in
a little outhouse at the end of the garden.
— Very good, Simon. All serene, Simon, said the old
man tranquilly. Anywhere you like. The outhouse
will do me nicely: it will be more salubrious.
— Damn me, said Mr Dedalus frankly, if I know how
you can smoke such villainous awful tobacco. It's like
gunpowder, by God.
— It 's very nice, Simon, replied the old man. Very
cool and mollifying.
Every morning, therefore, uncle Charles repaired to
his outhouse but not before he had creased and brushed
scrupulously his back hair and brushed and put on his
tall hat. While he smoked the brim of his tall hat and
the bowl of his pipe were just visible beyond the jambs
of the outhouse door. His arbour, as he called the reek-
ing outhouse which he shared with the cat and the garden
tools, served him also as a soundingbox : and every morn-
ing he hummed contentedly one of his favourite songs:
O, twine me a bower or Blue eyes and golden hair or The
Groves of Blarney while the grey and blue coils of smoke
rose slowly from his pipe and vanished in the pure air.
During the first part of the summer in Blackrock
uncle Charles was Stephen 's constant companion. Uncle
Charles was a hale old man with a well tanned skin,
rugged features and white side whiskers. On week days
he did messages between the house in Carysfort Avenue
and those shops in the main street of the town with which
the family dealt. Stephen was glad to go with him on
these errands for uncle Charles helped him very liber-
ally to handfuls of whatever was exposed in open boxes
and barrels outside the counter. He would seize a hand-
ful of grapes and sawdust or three or four American
^^pples and thrust them generously into his grand-
nephew 's hand while the shopman smiled uneasily ; and,
on Stephen's feigning reluctance to take them, he would
frown and say:
— Take them, sir. Do you hear me, sir? They're
good for your bowels.
When the order list had been booked the two would
go on to the park where an old friend of Stephen's
father, Mike Flynn, would be found seated on a bench,
waiting for them. Then would begin Stephen's run
round the park. Mike Flynn would stand at the gate
near the railway station, watch in hand, while Stephen
ran round the track in the style Mike Flynn favoured,
his head high lifted, his knees well lifted and his hands
held straight down by his sides. When -the morning
practice was over the trainer would make his comments
and sometimes illustrate them by shuffling along for a
yard or so comically in an old pair of blue canvas shoes.
A small ring of wonderstruck children and nursemaids
would gather to watch him and linger even when he and
uncle Charles had sat down again and were talking
athletics and politics. Though he had heard his father
say that Mike Flynn had put some of the best runners
of modern times through his hands Stephen often glanced
at his trainer's flabby stubble-covered face, as it bent
over the long stained fingers through which he rolled his
cigarette, and with pity at the mild lustreless blue eyes
which would look up suddenly from the task and gaze
vaguely into the blue distance while the long swollen
fingers ceased their rolling and grains and fibres of
tobacco fell back into the pouch.
On the way home uncle Charles would often pay a
visit to the chapel and, as the font was above Stephen's
reach, the old man would dip his hand and then sprinkl^
the water briskly about Stephen's clothes and on th^^
floor of the porch. While he prayed he knelt on his red
handkerchief and read above his breath from a thumb
blackened prayer-book wherein catchwords were printed
at the foot of every page. Stephen knelt at his side
respecting, though he did not share, his piety. He often
wondered what his granduncle prayed for so seriously.
Perhaps he prayed for the souls in purgatory or for the
grace of a happy death or perhaps he prayed that God
might send him back a part of the big fortune he had
squandered in Cork.
On Sundays Stephen with his father and his grand-
uncle took their constitutional. The old man was a
nimble walker in spite of his corns and often ten or
twelve miles of the road were covered. The little village
of Stillorgan was the parting of the ways. Either they
went to the left towards the Dublin mountains or along
the Goatstown road and thence into Dundrum, coming
home by Sandyford. Trudging along the road or stand-
ing in some grimy wayside public house his elders spoke
constantly of the subjects nearer their hearts, of Irish
politics, of Munster and of the legends of their own
family, to all of which Stephen lent an avid ear. Words
which he did not understand he said over and over to
himself till he had learnt them by heart: and through
them he had glimpses of the real world about him. The
hour when he too would take part in the life of that
world seemed drawing near and in secret he began to
make ready for the great part which he felt awaited him
the nature of which he only dimly apprehended.
His evenings were his own ; and he pored over a ragged
translation of The Count of Monte Cristo. The figure
of that dark avenger stood forth in his mind for what-
Wer he had heard or divined in childhood of the strange
and terrible. At night he built up on the parlour table
an image of the wonderful island cave out of transfers
and paper flowers and coloured tissue paper and strips
of the silver and golden paper in which chocolate is
wrapped. When he had broken up this scenery, weary
of its tinsel, there would come to his mind the bright
picture of Marseilles, of sunny trellises and of Mercedes.
Outside Blackrock, on the road that led to the moun-
tains, stood a small whitewashed house in the garden of
which grew many rosebushes : and in this house, he told
himself, another Mercedes lived. Both on the outward
and on the homeward journey he measured distance by
this landmark : and in his imagination he lived through
a long train of adventures, marvellous as those in the
book itself, towards the close of which there appeared an
image of himself, grown older and sadder, standing in a
moonlit garden with Mercedes who had so ma^y years
before slighted his love, and with a sadly proud gesture
of refusal, saying :
— Madam, I never eat muscatel grapes.
He became the ally of a boy named Aubrey Mills and
founded with him a gang of adventurers in the avenue.
Aubrey carried a whistle dangling from his buttonhole
and a bicycle lamp attached to his belt while the others
had short sticks thrust daggerwise through theirs.
Stephen, who had read of Napoleon's plain style of
dress, chose to remain unadorned and thereby heightened
for himself the pleasure of taking counsel with his lieu-
tenant before giving orders. The gang made forays in-
to the gardens of old maids or went down to the castle
and fought a battle on the shaggy weedgrown rocks,
coming home after it weary stragglers with the stale
odours of the foreshore in their nostrils and the rank
oils of the seawrack upon their hands and in their
Aubrey and Stephen had a common milkman and often
they drove out in the milkcar to Carrickmines where
the cows were at grass. While the men were milking
the boys would take turns in riding the tractable mare
round the field. But when autumn came the cows were
driven home from the grass: and the first sight of the
filthy cowyard at Stradbrook with its foul green puddles
and clots of liquid dung and steaming bran troughs
sickened Stephen's heart. The cattle which had seemed
so beautiful in the country on sunny days revolted him
and he could not even look at the milk they yielded.
The coming of September did not trouble him this
year for he was not to be sent back to Clongowes. The
practice in the park came to an end when Mike Flynn
went into hospital. Aubrey was at school and had only
an hour or two free in the evening. The gang fell
asunder and there were no more nightly forays or battles
on the rocks. Stephen sometimes went round with the
car which delivered the evening milk: and these chilly
drives blew away his memory of the filth of the cow-
yard and he felt no repugnance at seeing the cow hairs
and hayseeds on the milkman's coat. Whenever the car
drew up before a house he waited to catch a glimpse
of a well scrubbed kitchen or of a softly lighted hall
and to see how the servant would hold the jug and how
she would close the door. He thought it should be a
pleasant life enough, driving along the roads every even-
ing to deliver milk, if he had warm gloves and a fat bag
of gingernuts in his pocket to eat from. But the same
foreknowledge which had sickened his heart and made
his legs sag suddenly as he raced round the park, the
same intuition which had made him glance with mis-
trust at his trainer's flabby stubblecovered face as it bent
heavily over his long stained fingers, dissipated any
vision of the future. In a vague way he understood
that his father was in trouble and that this was the
reason why he himself had not been sent back to Clon-
gowes. For some time he had felt the slight change in
his house; and those changes in what he had deemed
unchangeable were so many slight shocks to his boyish
conception of the world. The ambition which he felt
astir at times in the darkness of his soul sought no outlet.
A dusk like that of the outer world obscured his mind
as he heard the mare's hoofs clattering along the tram-
track on the Rock Road and the great can swaying and
rattling behind him.
He returned to Mercedes and, as he brooded upon her
image, a strange unrest crept into his blood. Sometimes
a fever gathered within him and led him to rove alone
in the evening along the quiet avenue. The peace of
the gardens and the kindly lights in the windows poured
a tender influence into his restless heart. The noise of
children at play annoyed him and their silly voices made
hiin feel, even more keenly than he had felt at Clongowes,
that he was different from others. He did not want to
play. He wanted to meet in the real world the unsub-
stantial image which, his soul so constantly beheld. He
did not know where to seek it or how but a premonition
which led him on told him that this image would, without
any overt act of his, encounter him. They would meet
quietly as if they had known each other and had made
their tryst, perhaps at one of the gates or in some more
secret place. They would be alone, surrounded by dark-
ness and silence : and in that moment of supreme tender-
ness he would be transfigured. He would fade into some-
thing impalpable under her eyes and then in a moment,
he would be transfigured. Weakness and timidity and
inexperience would fall from him in that magic moment.
Two great yellow caravans had halted one morning
before the door and men had come tramping into the
house to dismantle it. The furniture had been hustled
out through the front garden which was strewn with
wisps of straw and rope ends and into the huge vans
at the gate. "When all had been safely stowed the vans
had set off noisily down the avenue : and from the window
of the railway carriage, in which he had sat with his red
eyed mother, Stephen had seen them lumbering along
the Merrion Road.
The parlour fire would not draw that evening and Mr
Dedalus rested the poker against the bars of the grate to
attract the flame. Uncle Charles dozed in a corner of
the half furnished uncarpeted room and near him the
family portraits leaned against the wall. The lamp on
the table shed a weak light over the boarded floor, mud-
died by the feet of the vanmen. Stephen sat on a foot-
stool beside his father listening to a long and incoherent
monologue. He understood little or nothing of it at first
but he became slowly aware that his father had enemies
and that some fight was going to take place. He felt,
too, that he was being enlisted for the fight, that some
duty was being laid upon his shoulders. The sudden
flight from the comfort and revery of Blackrock, the pas-
sage through the gloomy foggy city, the thought of the
bare cheerless house in which they were now to live made
his heart heavy : and again an intuition, a foreknowledge
of the future came to him. He understood also why the
servants had often whispered together in the hall and
why his father had often stood on the hearthrug, with
his back to the fire, talking loudly to uncle Charles who
urged him to sit down and eat his dinner.
— There 's a crack of the whip left in me yet, Stephen,
old chap, said Mr Dedalus, poking at the dull fire with
fierce energy. We're not dead yet, sonny. No, by the
Lord Jesus (God forgive me) nor half dead.
Dublin was a new and complex sensation. Uncle
Charles had grown so witless that he could no longer
be sent out on errands and the disorder in settling in
the new house left Stephen freer than he had been in
Blackrock. In the beginning he contented himself with
circling timidly round the neighbouring square or, at
most, going half way down one of the side streets: but
when he had made a skeleton map of the city in his
mind he followed boldly one of its central lines until he
reached the Custom House. He passed unchallenged
among the docks and along the quays wondering at the
multitude of corks that lay bobbing on the surface of the
water in a thick yellow scum, at the crowds of quay
porters and the rumbling carts and the ill dressed
bearded policeman. The vastness and strangeness of the
life suggested to him by the bales of merchandise stocked
along the walls or swung aloft out of the holds of
steamers wakened again in him the unrest which had
sent him wandering in the evening from garden to gar-
den in search of Mercedes. And amid this new bustling
life he might have fancied himself in another Marseilles
but that he missed the bright sky and the sun-warmed
trellisses of the wineshops. A vague dissatisfaction
grew up within him as he looked on the quays and on the
river and on the lowering skies and yet he continued to
wander up and down day after day as if he really sought
someone that eluded him.
He went once or twice with his mother to visit their
relatives : and though they passed a jovial array of shops
lit up and adorned for Christmas his mood of embittered
silence did not leave him. The causes of his embitter-
ment were many, remote and near. He was angry with
himself for being young and the prey of restless foolish
impulses, angry also with the change of fortune which
was reshaping the world about him into a vision of
squalor and insincerity. Yet his anger lent nothing to
the vision. He chronicled with patience what he saw, de-
taching himself from it and testing its mortifying flavour
He was sitting on the backless chair in his aunt's
kitchen. A lamp with a reflector hung on the japanned
wall of the fireplace and by its light his aunt was reading
the evening paper that lay on her knees. She looked a
long time at a smiling picture that was set in it and said
— The beautiful Mabel Hunter !
A ringletted girl stood on tiptoe to peer at the picture
and said softly :
— What is she in, mud ?
— In a pantomime, love.
The child leaned her ringletted head against her
mother's sleeve, gazing on the picture and murmured
as if fascinated:
— The beautiful Mabel Hunter !
As if fascinated, her eyes rested long upon those de-
murely taunting eyes and she murmured devotedly:
— Isn 't she an exquisite creature ?
And the boy who came in from the street, stamping
crookedly under his stone of coal, heard her words. He
dropped his load promptly on the floor and hurried to
her side to see. He mauled the edges of the paper with
his reddened and blackened hands, shouldering her aside
and complaining that he could not see.
He was sitting in the narrow breakfast room high up
in the old dark windowed house. The firelight flickered
on the wall and beyond the window a spectral dusk was
gathering upon the river. Before the fire an old woman
was busy making tea and, as she bustled at the task,
she told in a low voice of what the priest and the doctor
had said. She told too of certain changes they had seen
in her of late and of her odd ways and sayings. He sat
listening to the words and following the ways of ad-
venture that lay open in the coals, arches and vaults and
winding galleries and jagged caverns.
Suddenly he became aware of something in the door-
way. A skull appeared suspended in the gloom of the
doorway. A feeble creature like a monkey was there,
drawn there by the sound of voices at the fire. A whin-
ing voice came from the door asking :
— Is that Josephine ?
The old bustling woman answered cheerily from the
— No, Ellen, it's Stephen.
— ... 0, good evening, Stephen.
He answered the greeting and saw a silly smile break
over the face in the doorway.
— Do you want anything, Ellen ? asked the old woman
at the fire.
But she did not answer the question and said,
— I thought it was Josephine. I thought you wei-e
And, repeating this several times, she fell to laughing
He was sitting in the midst of a children's party at
Harold's Cross. His silent watchful manner had grown
upon him and he took little part in the games. The
children, wearing the spoils of their crackers, danced
and romped noisily and, though he tried to share their
merriment, he felt himself a gloomy figure amid the gay
cocked hats and sunbonnets.
But when he had sung his song and withdrawn into a
snug corner of the» room he began to taste the joy of
his loneliness. The mirth, which in the beginning of
the evening had seemed to him false and trivial, was like
a soothing air to hin>, passing gaily by his senses, hiding
from other eyes the feverish agitation of his blood while
through the circling of the dancers and amid the music
and laughter her glance travelled to his comer, flatter-
ing, taunting, searching, exciting his heart.
In the hall the children who had stayed latest were
putting on their things: the party was over. She had
thrown a shawl about her and, as they went together
towards the tram, sprays of her fresh warm breath flew
gaily above her cowled head and her shoes tapped
blithely on the glassy road.
It was the last tram. The lank brown horses knew it
and shook their bells to the clear night in admonition.
The conductor talked with the driver, both nodding often
in tlie green light of the lamp. On the empty seats of
the tram were scattered a few coloured tickets. No
sound of footsteps came up or down the road. No sound
broke the peace of the night save when the lank brown
horses rubbed their noses together and shook their bells.
They seemed to listen, he on the upper step and she
on the lower. She came up to his step many times and
went down to hers again between their phrases and once
or twice stood close beside him for some moments on the
upper step, forgetting to go down, and then went down.
His heart danced upon her movements like a cork upon
a tide. He heard what her eyes said to him from be-
neath their cowl and knew that in some dim past, whether
in life or revery, he had heard their tale before. He
saw her urge her vanities, her fine dress and sash and
long black stockings, and knew that he had yielded to
them a thousand times. Yet a voice within him spoke
above the noise of his dancing heart, asking him would
he take her gift to which he had only to stretch out his
hand. And he remembered the day when he and Eileen
had stood looking into the Hotel Grounds, watching the
waiters running up a trail of bunting on the flagstaff
and the fox terrier scampering to and fro on the sunny
lawn, and how, all of a sudden, she had broken out into a
peal of laughter and had run down the sloping curve of
the path. Now, as then, he stood listlessly in his place,
seemingly a tranquil watcher of the scene before him.
— She too wants me to catch hold of her, he thought.
That's why she came with me to the tram. I could
easily catch hold of her when she comes up to my step :
nobody is looking. I could hold her and kiss her.
But he did neither : and, when he was sitting alone in
the deserted tram he tore his ticket into shreds and stared
gloomily at the corrugated footboard.
The next day he sat at his table in the bare upper
room for many hours. Before him lay a new pen, a new
bottle of ink and a new emerald exercise. From force
of habit he had written at the top of the first page the
initial letters of the Jesuit motto: A.M.D.G. On the
first line of the page appeared the title of the verses he
was trying to write : To E C . He knew it was
right to begin so for he had seen similar titles in the
collected poems of Lord Byron. When he had written
this title and drawn an ornamental line underneath he
fell into a day dream and began to draw diagrams on
the cover of the book. He saw himself sitting at his table
in Bray the morning after the discussion at the Christ-
mas dinner table, trying to write a poem about Parnell
on the back of one of his father's second moiety notices.
But his brain had then refused to grapple with the
theme and, desisting, he had covered the page with the
names and addresses of certain of his classmates:
Now it seemed as if he would fail again but, by dint of
brooding on the incident, he thought himself into con-
fidence. During this process all those elements which
he deemed common and insignificant fell out of the scene.
There remained no trace of the tram itself nor of the
trammen nor of the horses: nor did he and she appear
vividly. The verses told only of the night and the balmy
breeze and the maiden lustre of the moon. Some un-
defined sorrow was hidden in the hearts of the protago-
nists as they stood in silence beneath the leafless trees
and when the moment of farewell had come the kiss,
which had been withheld by one, was given by both.
After this the letters L. D. S. were written at the foot of
the page and, having hidden the book, he went into his
mother's bedroom and gazed at his face for a long time
in the mirror of her dressing table.
But his long spell of leisure and liberty was drawing
to its end. One evening his father came home full of
news which kept his tongue busy all through dinner.
Stephen had been awaiting his father's return for there
had been mutton hash that day and he knew that his
father would make him dip his bread in the gravy. But
he did not relish the hash for the mention of Clongowes
had coated his palate with a scum of disgust.
— I walked bang into him, said Mr Dedalus for the
fourth time, just at the corner of the square.
— Then I suppose, said Mrs Dedalus, he will be able
to arrange it. I mean about Belvedere.
— Of course, he will, said Mr Dedalus. Don't I tell
you he 's provincial of the order now ?
— I never liked the idea of sending him to the christian
brothers myself, said Mrs Dedalus.
— Christian brothers be damned! said Mr Dedalus.
Is it with Paddy Stink and IMickey Mud ? No, let him
stick to the Jesuits in God's name since he began with
them. They'll be of service to him in after years.
Those are the fellows that can get you a position.
— And they're a very rich order, aren't they, Simon?
— Rather. They live well, I tell you. You saw their
table at Clongowes. Fed up, by God, like game-
Mr Dedalus pushed his plate over to Stephen and bade
him finish what was on it.
— Now then, Stephen, he said, you must put your
shoulder to the wheel, old chap. You've had a fine
— 0, I 'm sure he '11 work very hard now, said Mrs
Dedalus, especially when he has Maurice with him.
— O, Holy Paul, I forgot about Maurice, said Mr
Dedalus. Here, Maurice ! Come here, you thick-headed
ruffian ! Do you know I 'm going to send you to a college
where they '11 teach you to spell c.a.t. cat. And I 'II buy
you a nice little penny handkerchief to keep your nose
dry. Won't that be grand fun?
Maurice grinned at his father and then at his brother.
^Ir Dedalus screwed his glass into his eye and stared
hard at both of his sons. Stephen mumbled his bread
without answering his father's gaze.
— By the bye, said Mr Dedalus at length, the rector
or provincial rather, was telling me that story about you
and Father Dolan. You're an impudent thief, he said.
— ^O, he didn't, Simon!
— Not he! said ^Ir Dedalus. But he gave me a great
account of the whole affair. We were chatting, you
know, and one word borrowed another. And, by the
way, who do you think he told me will get that job in
the corporation? But 111 tell you that after. Well, as
I was saying, we were chatting away quite friendly and
he asked me did our friend here wear glasses still and
then he told me the whole story.
— And was he annoyed, Simon ?
— Annoyed! Not he! Manly little chap! he said.
Mr Dedalus imitated the mincing nasal tone of the
— Father Dolan and I, when I told them all at dinner
about it, Father Dolan and I had a great laugh over it.
You better mind yourself, Father Dolan, said I, or young
Dedalus will send you up for twice nine. We had a
famous laugh together over it. Ha ! Ha ! Ha !
Mr Dedalus turned to his wife and interjected in his
— Shows you the spirit in which they take the boys
there. 0, a Jesuit for your life, for diplomacy !
He reassumed the provincial 's voice and repeated :
— I told them all at dinner about it and Father Dolan
and I and all of us we all had a hearty laugh together
over it. Ha ! Ha ! Ha !
The night of the Whitsuntide play had come and
Stephen from the window of the dressing room looked
out on the small grassplot across which lines of Chinese
lanterns were stretched. He watched the visitors come
down the steps from the house and pass into the theatre.
Stewards in evening dress, old Belvedereans, loitered in
groups about the entrance to the theatre and ushered in
the visitors with ceremony. Under the sudden glow of a
lantern he could recognise the smiling face of a priest.
The Blessed Sacrament had been removed from the
tabernacle and the first benches had been driven back
so as to leave the dais of the altar and the space before
it free. Against the walls stood companies of barbells
and Indian clubs ; the dumb bells were piled in one cor-
ner : ami in the midst of countless hillocks of gymnasium
shoes and sweaters and singlets in untidy brown parcels
there stood the stout leatherjacketed vaulting horse wait-
ing its turn to be Carried up on the stage and set in the
middle of the winning team at the end of the gymnastic
Stephen, though in deference to his reputation for
essay writing he had been elected secretary to the gym-
nasium, had had no part in the first section of the
programme, but in the play which formed the second
section he had the chief part, that of a farcical pedagogue.
He had been cast for it on accoimt of his stature and
grave manners for he was now at the end of his second
year at Belvedere and in number two.
A score of the younger boys in white knickers and
singlets came pattering down from the stage, through
the vestry and into the chapel. The vestry and chapel
were peopled with eager masters and boys. The plump
bald sergeant major was testing with his foot the spring-
board of the vaulting horse. The lean young man in a
long overcoat, who was to give a special display of in-
tricate club swinging, stood near watching with interest,
his silver coated clubs peeping out of his deep sidepockets.
The hollow rattle of the wooden dumb bells was heard
as another team made ready to go up on the stage : and
in another moment the excited prefect was hustling the
boys through the vestry like a flock of geese, flapping the
wings of his soutane nervously and crying to the lag-
gards to make haste. A little troop of Neapolitan peas-
ants were practising their steps at the end of the chapel,
some circling their arms above their heads, some swaying
their baskets of paper violets and curtseying. In a dark
comer of the chapel at the gospel side of the altar a stout
old lady knelt amid her copious black skirts. When she
stood up a pink dressed figure, wearing a curly golden
wig and an old fashioned straw sunbonnet, with black
pencilled eyebrows and cheeks delicately rouged and
powdered, was discovered. A low murmur of curiosity
ran round the chapel at the discovery of this girlish
figure. One of the prefects, smiling and nodding his
head, approached the dark corner and, having bowed to
the stout old lady, said pleasantly :
— Is this a beautiful young lady or a doll that you
have here, Mrs Tallon?
Then, bending down to peer at the smiling painted
face under the leaf of the bonnet, he exclaimed :
— No! Upon my word I believe it's little Bertie
Tallon after all!
Stephen at his post by the window heard the old lady
and the priest laugh together and heard the boys' mur-
murs of admiration behind him as they passed forward
to see the little boy who had to dance the sunbonnet
dance by himself. A movement of impatience escaped
him. He let the edge of the blind fall and, stepping
down from the bench on which he had been standing,
walked out of the chapel.
He passed out of the schoolhouse and halted under the
shed that flanked the garden. From the theatre op-
posite came the muffled noise of the audience and sudden
brazen clashes of the soldiers' band. The light spread
upwards from the glass roof making the theatre seem a
festive ark, anchored among the hulks of houses, her
frail cables of lanterns looping her to her moorings. A
side door of the theatre opened suddenly and a shaft of
light flew across the grassplots. A sudden burst of music
issued from the ark, the prelude of a waltz: and when
the side door closed again the listener could hear the
faint rhythm of the music. The sentiment of the open-
ing bars, their languor and supple movement, evoked
the incommunicable emotion which had been the cause
of all his day's unrest and of his impatient movement
of a moment before. His unrest issued from him like
a wave of sound: and on the tide of flowing music the
ark was journeying, trailing her cables of lanterns in
her wake. Then a noise like dwarf artillery broke the
movement. It was the clapping that greeted the entry
of the dumb bell team on the stage.
At the far end of the shed near the street a speck of
pink light showed in the darkness and as he walked to-
wards it he became aware of a faint aromatic odour.
Two boys were standing in the shelter of a doorway,
smoking, and before he reached them he had recognised
Heron by his voice.
— Here comes the noble Dedalus ! cried a high throaty
voice. Welcome to our trusty friend !
This welcome ended in a soft peal of mirthless laughter
as Heron salaamed and then began to poke the ground
with his cane.
— Here I am, said Stephen, halting and glancing from
Heron to his friend.
The latter was a stranger to him but in the darkness,
by the aid of the glowing cigarette tips, he could make
out a pale dandyish face, over which a smile was travel-
ling slowly, a tall overcoated figure and a hard hat.
Heron did not trouble himself about an introduction but
said instead :
— I was just telling my friend Wallis what a lark it
would be tonight if you took off the rector in the part
of the schoolmaster. It would be a ripping good joke.
Heron made a poor attempt to imitate for his friend
Wallis the rector's pedantic bass and then, laughing at
his failure, asked Stephen to do it.
— Go on, Dedalus, he urged, you can take him off
rippingly. He that will not hear the churcha let him he
to theea as the heathena and the puhlicana.
The imitation was prevented by a mild expression of
anger from Wallis in whose mouthpiece the cigarette
had become too tightly wedged.
— Damn this blankety blank holder, he said, taking it
from his mouth and smiling and frowning upon it toler-
antly. It 's always getting stuck like that. Do you use
a holder ?
— I don't smoke, answered Stephen.
— No, said Heron, Dedalus is a model youth. He
doesn't smoke and he doesn't go to bazaars and he doesn't
flirt and he doesn't damn anything or damn all.
Stephen shook his head and smiled in his rival's
flushed and mobile face, beaked like a bird's. He had
often thought it strange that Vincent Heron had a bird 's
face as well as a bird's name. A shock of pale hair
lay on the forehead like a ruffled crest : the forehead was
narrow and bony and a thin hooked nose stood out be-
tween the closeset prominent eyes which were light and
inexpressive. The rivals were school friends. They sat
together in class, knelt together in the chapel, talked to-
gether after beads over their lunches. As the fellows
in number one were undistinguished dullards Stephen
and Heron had been during the year the virtual heads of
the school. It was they who went up to the rector to-
gether to ask for a free day or to get a fellow off.
— by the way, said Heron suddenly, I saw your
governor going in.
The smile waned on Stephen's face. Any allusion
made to his father by a fellow or by a master put his
calm to rout in a moment. He waited in timorous silence
to hear what Heron might say next. Heron, however,
nudged him expressively with his elbow and said :
— You're a sly dog.
— Why so ? said Stephen.
— You'd think butter wouldn't melt in your mouth,
said Heron. But I'm afraid you're a sly dog.
— Might I ask you what you are talking about ? said
— Indeed you might, answered Heron. We saw her,
Wallis, didn't we? And deucedly pretty she is too.
And inquisitive! And what part does Stephen take,
Mr Dedalusf And will Stephen not sing, Mr Dedalust
Your governor was staring at her through that eyeglass
of his for all he was worth so that I think the old man
has found you out too. I wouldn't care a bit, by Jove.
She's ripping, isn't she, Wallis?
— Not half bad, answered Wallis quietly as he placed
his holder once more in a comer of his mouth.
A shaft of momentary anger flew through Stephen's
mind at these indelicate allusions in the hearing of a
stranger. For him there was nothing amusing in a girl 's
interest and regard. All day he had thought of nothing
but their leavetaking on the steps of the tram at Harold's
Cross, the stream of moody emotions it had made to
course through him, and the poem he had written about
it. All day he had imagined a new meeting with her
for he knew that she was to come to the play. The old
restless moodiness had again filled his breast as it had
done on the night of the party but had not found an out-
let in verse. The growth and knowledge of two years
of boyhood stood between them and now, forbidding such
an outlet: and all day the stream of gloomy tenderness
within him had started forth and returned upon itself
in dark courses and eddies, wearying him in the end
until the pleasantry of the prefect and the painted little
boy had drawn from him a movement of impatience.
— So you may as well admit, Heron went on, that
we've fairly found you out this time. You can't play
the saint on me any more, that's one sure five.
A soft peal of mirthless laughter escaped from his
lips and, bending down as before, he struck Stephen
lightly across the calf of the leg with his cane, as if in
Stephen's movement of anger had already passed.
He was neither flattered nor confused but simply wished
the banter to end. He scarcely resented what had seemed
to him a silly indelicateness for he knew that the ad-
venture in his mind stood in no danger from these words :
and his face mirrored his rival's false smile.
— Admit ! repeated Heron, striking him again with his
cane across the calf of the leg.
The stroke was playful but not so lightly given as the
first one had been. Stephen felt the skin tingle and
glow slightly and almost painlessly; and, bowing sub-
missively, as if to meet his companion's jesting mood,
began to recite the Confiteor. The episode ended well
for both Heron and Wallis laughed indulgently at the
The confession came only from Stephen's lips and,
while they spoke the words, a sudden memory had
carried him to another scene called up, as if by magic,
at the moment when he had noted the faint cruel dimples
at the corners of Heron's smiling lips and had felt the
familiar stroke of the cane against his calf and had
heard the familiar word of admonition;
It was towards the close of his first term in the college
when he was in number six. His sensitive nature was
still smarting under the lashes of an undivined and
squalid way of life. His soul was still disquieted and
cast down by the dull phenomenon of Dublin. He had
emerged from a two years' spell of reverie to find him-
self in the midst of a new scene, every event and figure
of which affected him intimately, disheartened him or
allured and, whether alluring or disheartening, filled him
always with unrest and bitter thoughts. All the leisure
which his school life left him was passed in the com-
pany of subversive writers whose gibes and violence of
speech set up a ferment in his brain before they passed
out of it into his crude writings.
The essay was for him the chief labour of his week
and every Tuesday, as he marched from home to the
school, he read his fate in the incidents of the way, pitting
himself against some figure ahead of him and quickening
his pace to outstrip it before a certain goal was reached
or planting his steps scrupulously in the spaces of the
patchwork of the pathway and telling himself that he
would be first and not first in the weekly essay.
On a certain Tuesday the course of his triumphs was
rudely broken. Mr Tate, the English master, pointed
his finger at him and said bluntly :
— This fellow has heresy in his essay.
A hush fell on the class. Mr Tate did not break it
but dug with his hand between his thighs while his
heavily starched linen creaked about his neck and wrists.
Stephen did not look up. It was a raw spring morning
and his eyes were still smarting and weak. He was
conscious of failure and of detection, of the squalor of
his own mind and home, and felt against his neck the
raw edge of his turned and jagged collar.
A short loud laugh from Mr Tate set the class more
— Perhaps you didn't know that, he said.
— Where? asked Stephen.
Mr Tate withdrew his delving hand and spread out
— Here. It's about the Creator and the soul. Erm
. . . rrm . . . rrm. . . . Ah! without a possibility of
ever approaching nearer. That's heresy.
— I meant without a possihility of ever reaching.
It was a submission and Mr Tate, appeased, folded up
the essay and passed it across to him, saying:
— . . .Ah! ever reaching. That's another story.
But the class was not so soon appeased. Though no-
body spoke to him of the affair after class he could feel
about him a vague general malignant joy.
A few nights after this public chiding he was walking
with a letter along the Drumcondra Road when he heard
a voice cry :
He turned and saw three boys of his own class coming
towards him in the dusk. It was Heron who had called
out and, as he marched forward between his two at-
tendants, he cleft the air before him with a thin cane,
in time to their steps. Boland, his friend, marched be-
side him, a large grin on his face, while Nash came on a
few steps behind, blowing from the pace and wagging
his great red head.
As soon as the boys had turned into Clonliffe Road
together they began to speak about books and writers,
saying what books they were reading and how many
books there were in their fathers' bookcases at home.
Stephen listened to them in some wonderment for Boland
was the dunce and Nash the idler of the class. In fact
after some talk about their favourite writers Nash de-
clared for Captain Marryat who, he said, was the greatest
— Fudge! said Heron. Ask Dedalus. Who is the
greatest writer, Dedalus?
Stephen noted the mockery in the question and said:
— Of prose do you mean ?
— Newman, I think.
— Is it Cardinal Newman ? asked Boland.
— Yes, answered Stephen.
The grin broadened on Nash's freckled face as he
turned to Stephen and said :
— And do you like Cardinal Newman, Dedalus ?
— 0, many say that Newman has the best prose style,
Heron said to the other two in explanation; of course
he's not a poet.
— And who is the best poet. Heron T asked Boland.
— Lord Tennyson, of course, answered Heron.
— 0, yes. Lord Tennyson, said Nash. We have all
his poetry at home in a book.
At this Stephen forgot the silent vows he had been
making and burst out :
— Tennyson a poet! Why, he's only a rhymester!
— 0, get out! said Heron. Everyone knows that
Tennyson is the greatest poet.
— And who do you think is the greatest poet? asked
Boland, nudging his neighbour.
— Byron, of course, answered Stephen.
Heron gave the lead and all three joined in a scornful
— What are you laughing at ? asked Stephen.
— You, said Heron. Byron the greatest poet! He's
only a poet for uneducated people.
— He must be a fine poet ! said Boland.
— You may keep your mouth shut, said Stephen, turn-
ing on him boldly. All you know about poetry is what
you wrote up on the slates in the yard and were going
to be sent to the loft for.
Boland, in fact, was said to have written on the slates
in the yard a couplet about a classmate of his who often
rode home from, the college on a pony:
As Tyson was riding into Jerusalem
He fell and hurt his Alec Kafoozelum.
This thrust put the two lieutenants to silence but
Heron went on :
— In any case Byron was a heretic and immoral too.
— I don't care what he was, cried Stephen hotly.
— You don't care whether he was a heretic or not?
— What do you know about it ? shouted Stephen. You
never read a line of anything in your life except a trans
or Boland either.
— I know that Byron was a bad man, said Boland.
■ — Here, catch hold of this heretic, Heron called out.
In a moment Stephen was a prisoner.
— Tate made you buck up the other day, Heron went
on, about the heresy in your essay.
— I '11 tell him tomorrow, said Boland.
— Will you? said Stephen. You'd be afraid to open
— Afraid t
— Ay. Afraid of your life.
— Behave yourself! cried Heron, cutting at Stephen's
legs with his cane.
It was the signal for their onset. Nash pinioned his
arms behind while Boland seized a long cabbage stump
which was lying in the gutter. Struggling and kicking
under the cuts of the cane and the blows of the knotty
stump Stephen was borne back against a barbed wire
— Admit that Byron was no good.
— No. No.
At last after a fury of plunges he wrenched himself
free. His tormentors set off towards Jones's Road,
laughing and jeering at him, while he, half blinded with
tears, stumbled on, clenching his fists madly and sobbing.
While he was still repeating the Confiteor amid the
indulgent laughter of his hearers and while the scenes
of that malignant episode were still passing sharply and
swiftly before his mind he wondered why he bore no
malice now to those who had tormented him. He had
not forgotten a whit of their cowardice and cruelty but
the memory of it called forth no anger from him. All
the description of fierce love and hatred which he had
met in books had seemed to him therefore unreal. Even
that night as he stumbled homewards along Jones's Road
he had felt that some power was divesting him of that
sudden woven anger as easily as a fruit is divested of its
soft ripe peel.
He remained standing with his two companions at the
end of the shed listening idly to their talk or to the bursts
of applause in the theatre. She was sitting there among
the others perhaps waiting for him to appear. He tried
to recall her appearance but could not. He could re-
member only that she had worn a shawl about her head
like a cowl and that her dark eyes had invited, and un-
nerved him. He wondered had he been in her thoughts
or she had been in his. Then in the dark and unseen by
the other two he rested the tips of the fingers of one
hand upon the palm of the other hand, scarcely touching
it lightly. But the pressure of her fingers had been
lighter and steadier: and suddenly the memory of their
touch traversed his brain and body like an invisible wave.
A boy came towards them, running along under the
shed. He was excited and breathless.
— 0, Dedalus, he cried, Doyle is in a great bake about
you. You're to go in at once and get dressed for the
play. Hurry up, you better.
— He 's coming now, said Heron to the messenger with
a haughty drawl, when he wants to.
The boy turned to Heron and repeated :
— But Doyle is in an awful bake.
— "Will you tell Doyle with my best compliments that
I damned his eyes ? answered Heron.
— Well, I must go now, said Stephen, who cared little
for such points of honour.
— I wouldn^t, said Heron, damn me if I would.
That's no way to send for one of the senior boys. In
a bake, indeed! I think it's quite enough that you're
taking a part in his bally old play.
This spirit of quarrelsome comradeship which he had
observed lately in his rival had not seduced Stephen from
his habits of quiet obedience. He mistrusted the tur-
bulence and doubted the sincerity of such comradeship
which seemed to him a sorry anticipation of manhood.
The question of honour here raised was, like all such
questions, trivial to him. While his mind had been pur-
suing its intangible phantoms and turning in irresolution
from such pursuit he had heard about him the constant
voices of his father and of his masters, urging him to be
a gentleman above all things and urging him to be a
good catholic above all things. These voices had now
come to be hollow sounding in his ears. When the gym-
nasium had been opened he had heard another voice
urging him to be strong and manly and healthy and when
the movement towards national revival had begun to be
felt in the college yet another voice had bidden him be
true to his country and help to raise up her language
and tradition. In the profane world, as he foresaw, a
worldly voice would bid him raise up his father's fallen
state by his labours and, meanwhile, the voice of his
school-comrades urged him to be a decent fellow, to shield
others from blame or to beg them off and to do his best
to get free days for the school. And it was the din of
all these hoUowsounding voices that made him halt ir-
resolutely in the pursuit of phantoms. He gave them
ear only for a time but he was happy only when he was
far from them, beyond their call, alone or in the company
of phantasmal comrades.
In the vestry a plump freshf aced Jesuit and an elderly
man, in shabby blue clothes, were dabbling in a case of
paints and chalks. The boys who had been painted
walked about or stood still awkwardly, touching their
faces in a gingerly fashion with their furtive fingertips.
In the middle of the vestry a young Jesuit, who was then
on a visit to the college, stood rocking himself rhythmi-
cally from the tips of his toes to his heels and back again,
his hands thrust well forward into his side pockets. His
small head set off with glossy red curls and his newly
shaven face agreed well with the spotless decency of his
soutane and with his spotless shoes.
As he watched this swaying form and tried to read
for himself the legend of the priest 's mocking smile there
came into Stephen 's memory a saying which he had heard
from his father before he had been sent to Clongowes,
that you could always tell a Jesuit by the style of his
clothes. At the same moment he thought he saw a like-
ness between his father's mind and that of this smiling
welldressed priest : and he was aware of some desecration
of the priest's office or of the vestry itself whose silence
was now routed by loud talk and joking and its air
pungent with the smells of the gas jets and the grease.
While his forehead was being wrinkled and his jaws
painted black and blue by the elderly man he listened
distractedly to the voice of the plump young Jesuit which
bade him speak up and make his points clearly. He
could hear the band playing The Lily of Killarney and
knew that in a few moments the curtain would go up.
He felt no stage fright but the thought of the part he
had to play humiliated him. A remembrance of some
of his lines made a sudden flush rise to his painted
cheeks. He saw her serious alluring eyes watching him
from among the audience and their image at once swept
away his scruples, leaving his will compact. Another
nature seemed to have been lent him : the infection of the
excitement and youth about him entered into and trans-
formed his moody mistrustfulness. For one rare mo-
ment he seemed to be clothed in the real apparel of boy-
hood: and, as he stood in the wings among the other
players, he shared the common mirth amid which the
drop scene was hauled upwards by two ablebodied priests
with violent jerks and all awry.
A few moments after he found himself on the stage
amid the garish gas and the dim scenery, acting before
the innumerable faces of the void. It surprised him to
see that the play which he had known at rehearsals for a
disjointed lifeless thing had suddenly assumed a life of
its own. It seemed now to play itself, he and his fellow
actors aiding it with their parts. When the curtain fell
on the last scene he heard the void filled with applause
and, through a rift in a side scene, saw the simple body
before which he had acted magically deformed, the void
of faces breaking at all points and falling asunder into
He left the stage quickly and rid himself of his mum-
mery and passed out through the chapel into the college
garden. Now that the play was over his nerves cried
for some further adventure. He hurried onwards as if
to overtake it. The doors of the theatre were all open
and the audience had emptied out. On the lines which
he had fancied the moorings of an ark a few lanterns
swung in the night breeze, flickering cheerlessly. He
mounted the steps from the garden in haste, eager that
some prey should not elude him, and forced his way
through the crowd in the hall and past the two Jesuits
who stood watching the exodus and bowing and shaking
hands with the visitors. He pushed onward nervously,
feigning a still greater haste and faintly conscious of the
smiles and stares and nudges which his powdered head
left in its wake.
When he came out on the steps he saw his family
waiting for him at the first lamp. In a glance he noted
that every figure of the group was familiar and ran down
the steps angrily.
— I have to leave a message down in George's Street,
he said to his father quickly. Ill be home after you.
Without waiting for his father's questions he ran
across the road and began to walk at breakneck speed
down the hill. He hardly knew where he was walking.
Pride and hope and desire like crushed herbs in his heart
sent up vapours of maddening incense before the eyes
of his mind. He strode down the hill amid the tumult of
suddenrisen vapours of wounded pride and fallen hope
and baffled desire. They streamed upwards before his
anguished eyes in dense and maddening fumes and
passed away above him till at last the air was clear and
A film still veiled his eyes but they burned no longer.
A power, akin to that which had often made anger or
resentment fall from him, brought his steps to rest. He
stood still and gazed up at the sombre porch of the
morgue and from that to the dark cobbled laneway at
its side. He saw the word Lotts on the wall of the lane
and breathed slowly the rank heavy air.
— That is horse piss and rotted straw, he thought.
It is a good odour to breathe. It will calm my heart.
My heart is quite calm now. I will go back.
* * * *
Stephen was once again seated beside his father in the
corner of a railway carriage at Kingsbridge. He was
travelling with his father by the night mail to Cork.
As the train steamed out of the station he recalled his
childish wonder of years before and every event of his
first day at Clongowes. But he felt no wonder now. He
saw the darkening lands slipping away past him, the
silent telegraphpoles passing his window swiftly every
four seconds, the little glimmering stations, manned by a
few silent sentries, flung by the mail behind her and
twinkling for a moment in the darkness like fiery grains
flung backwards by a runner.
He listened without sympathy to his father's evoca-
tion of Cork and of scenes of his youth — a tale broken
by sighs or draughts from his pocket flask whenever the
image of some dead friend appeared in it, or whenever
the evoker remembered suddenly the purpose of his
actual visit. Stephen heard, but could feel no pity.
The images of the dead were all strangers to him save
that of Uncle Charles, an image which had lately been
fading out of memory. He knew, however, that his
father's property was going to be sold by auction and
in the manner of his own dispossession he felt the world
give the lie rudely to his phantasy.
At Maryborough he fell asleep. When he awoke the
train had passed out of ^lallow and his father was
stretched asleep on the other seat. The cold light of
the dawn lay over the country, over the unpeopled fields
and the closed cottages. The terror of sleep fascinated
his mind as he watched the silent country or heard from
time to time his father's deep breath or sudden sleepy
movement. The neighbourhood of unseen sleepers filled
him with strange dread, as though they could harm him,
and he prayed that the day might come quickly. His
prayer, addressed neither to God nor saint, began with a
shiver, as the chilly morning breeze crept through the
chink of the carriage door to his feet, and ended in a
trail of foolish words which he made to fit the insistent
rhythm of the train; and silently, at intervals of four
seconds, the telegraphpoles held the galloping notes of
the music between punctual bars. This furious music
allayed his dread and, leaning against the window ledge,
he let his eyelids close again.
They drove in a jingle across Cork while it was still
early morning and Stephen finished his sleep in a bed-
room of the Victoria Hotel. The bright warm sunlight
was streaming through the wdndow and he could hear the
din of traffic. His father was standing before the dress-
ingtable, examining his hair and face and moustache
with great care, craning his neck across the water jug
and drawing it back sideways to see the better. While
he did so he sang softly to himself with quaint accent and
'' 'Tis youth and folly
Makes young men marry,
So here, my love, 1 11
No longer stay.
What can 't be cured, sure,
Must be injured, sure.
So I'll go to Amerikay.
* ' My love she 's handsome.
My love she 's bony :
She's like good whisky
When it is new;
But when 'tis old
And g^wing cold
It fades and dies like
The mountain dew.**
The consciousness of the warm sunny city outside his
window and the tender tremors with which his father's
voice festooned the strange sad happy air, drove oflP all
the mists of the night's ill humour from Stephen's brain.
He got up quickly to dress and, when the song had
ended, said :
— That 's much prettier than any of your other come'
— Do you think sot asked Mr Dedalus.
— I like it, said Stephen.
— It's a pretty old air, said Mr Dedalus, twirling the
points of his moustache. Ah, but you should have heard
Mick Lacy sing it ! Poor Mick Lacy ! He had little
turns for it, grace notes he used to put in that I haven 't
got. That was the boy who could sing a come-cU-you,
if you like.
Mr Dedalus had ordered drisheens for breakfast and
during the meal he cross-examined the waiter for local
news. For the most part they spoke at cross purposes
when a name was mentioned, the waiter having in mind
the present holder and Mr Dedalus his father or perhaps
Well, I hope they haven't moved the Queen's College
anyhow, said Mr Dedalus, for I want to show it to this
younjrster of mine.
Along the Mardyke the trees were in bloom. They
entered the grounds of the college and were led by the
garrulous porter across the quadrangle. But their
progress across the gravel was brought to a halt after
every dozen or so paces by some reply of the porter 's —
— Ah, do you tell me so? And is poor Pottlebelly
— Yes, sir. Dead, sir.
During these halts Stephen stood awkwardly behind
the two men, weary of the subject and waiting restlessly
for the slow march to begin again. By the time they
had crossed the quadrangle his restlessness had risen to
fever. He wondered how his father, whom he knew for
a shrewd suspicious man, could be duped by the servile
manners of the porter; and the lively southern speech
which had entertained him all the morning now irritated
They passed into the anatomy theatre where Mr
Dedalus, the porter aiding him, searched the desks for
his initials. Stephen remained in the background, de-
pressed more than ever by the darkness and silence of
the theatre and by the air it wore of jaded and formal
study. On the desk he read the word Foetus cut several
times in the dark stained wood. The sudden legend
startled his blood : he seemed to feel the absent students
of the college about him and to shrink from their
company. A vision of their life, which his father's
words had been powerless to evoke, sprang up before
him out of the word cut in the desk. A broad shouldered
student with a moustache was cutting in the letters with
a jack knife, seriously. Other students stood or sat near
him laughing at his handiwork. One jogged his elbow.
The big student turned on him, frowning. He was
dressed in loose grey clothes and had tan boots.
Stephen's name was called. He hurried down the
steps of the theatre so as to be as far away from the
vision as he could be and, peering closely at his father's
initials, hid his flushed face.
But the word and the vision capered before his eyes
as he walked back across the quadrangle and towards
the college gate. It shocked him to find in the outer
world a trace of what he had deemed till then a brutish
and individual malady of his own mind. His monstrous
reveries came thronging into his memory. They too
had sprung up before him, suddenly and furiously, out
of mere words. He had soon given in to them, and
allowed them to sweep across and abase his intellect,
wondering always where they came from, from what den
of monstrous images, and always weak and humble to-
wards others, restless and sickened of himself when they
had swept over him.
— Ay, bedad! And there's the Groceries sure
enough ! cried Mr Dedalus. You often heard me speak
of the Groceries, didn't you, Stephen. Many's the time
we went down there when our names had been marked,
a crowd of us, Harry Peard and little Jack Mountain
and Bob Dyas and Maurice Moriarty, the Frenchman,
and Tom O 'Grady and Mick Lacy that I told you of
this morning and Joey Corbet and poor little good
hearted Johnny Keevers of the Tantiles.
The leaves of the trees along the Mardyke were astir
and whispering in the sunlight. A team of cricketers
passed, agile young men in flannels and blazers, one of
them carrying the long green wicket bag. In a quiet
by street a German band of five players in faded uni-
forms and with battered brass instruments was playing
to an audience of street arabs and leisurely messenger
boys. A maid in a white cap and apron was watering
a box of plants on a sill which shone like a slab of lime-
stone in the warm glare. From another window open
to the air came the sound of a piano, scale after scale
rising into the treble.
Stephen walked on at his father's side, listening to
stories he had heard before, hearing again the names
of the scattered and dead revellers who had been the
companions of his father's youth. And a faint sickness
sighed in his heart. He recalled his own equivocal posi-
tion in Belvedere, a free boy, a leader afraid of his own
authority, proud and sensitive and suspicious, battling
against the squalor of his life and against the riot of his
mind. The letters cut in the stained wood of the desk
stared upon him, mocking his bodily weakness and futile
enthusiasms and making him loathe himself for his own
mad and filthy orgies. The spittle in his throat grew
bitter and foul to swallow and the faint sickness climbed
to his brain so that for a moment he closed his eyes and
walked on in darkness.
He could still hear his father's voice — >
— When you kick out for yourself, Stephen — as I
daresay you will one of those days — remember, what-
ever you do, to mix with gentlemen. When I was a
young fellow I tell you I enjoyed myself. I mixed with
fine decent fellows. Everyone of us could do something.
One fellow had a good voice, another fellow was a good
actor, another could sing a good comic song, another
was a good oarsman or a good racket player, another
could tell a good story and so on. We kept the ball
rolling anyhow and enjoyed ourselves and saw a bit of
life and we were none the worse of it either. But we
were all gentlemen, Stephen — at least I hope we were —
and bloody good honest Irishmen too. That's the kind
of fellows I want you to associate with, fellows of the
right kidney. I m talking to you as a friend, Stephen.
I don't believe a son should be afraid of his father. No,
I treat you as your grandfather treated me when I was
a young chap. We were more like brothers than father
and son. I'll never forget the first day he caught me
smoking. I was standing at the end of the South
Terrace one day with some maneens like myself and
sure we thought we were grand fellows because we had
pipes stuck in the corners of our mouths. Suddenly the
governor passed. He didn't say a word, or stop even.
But the next day, Sunday, we were out for a walk
together and when we were coming home he took out
his cigar case and said: — By the by, Simon, I didn't
know you smoked, or something like that. Of course I
tried to carry it off as best I could. — If you want a
good smoke, he said, try one of these cigars. An Ameri-
can captain made me a present of them last night in
Stephen heard his father's voice break into a laugh
which was almost a sob.
— He was the handsomest man in Cork at that time,
by God he was ! The women used to stand to look after
him in the street.
He heard the sob passing loudly down his father's
throat and opened his eyes with a nervous impulse.
The sunlight breaking suddenly on his sfght turned the
sky and clouds into a fantastic world of sombre masses
with lakelike spaces of dark rosy light. His very brain
was sick and powerless. He could scarcely interpret
the letters of the signboards of the shops. By his
monstrous way of life he seemed to have put himself
beyond the limits of reality. Nothing moved him or
spoke to him from the real world unless he heard in it
an echo of the infuriated cries within him. He could
respond to no earthly or human appeal, dumb and in-
sensible to the call of summer and gladness and com-
panionship, wearied and dejected by his father's voice.
He could scarcely recognise as his his own thoughts, and
repeated slowly to himself :
— I am Stephen Dedalus. I am walking beside my
father whose name is Simon Dedalus. We are in Cork,
in Ireland. Cork is a city. Our room is in the Victoria
Hotel. Victoria and Stephen and Simon. Simon and
Stephen and Victoria. Names.
The memory of his childhood suddenly grew dim. He
tried to call forth some of its vivid moments but could
not. He recalled only names. Dante, Parnell, Clane,
Clongowes. A little boy had been taught geography by
an old woman who kept two brushes in her wardrobe.
Then he had been sent away from home to a college, he
had made his first communion and eaten slim jim out
of his cricket cap and watched the firelight leaping and
dancing on the wall of a little bedroom in the infirmary
and dreamed of being dead, of mass being said for him
by the rector in a black and gold cope, of being buried
then in the little graveyard of the community off the
main avenue of lines. But he had not died then. Par-
nell had died. There had been no mass for the dead in
the chapel, and no procession. He had not died but he
had faded out like a film in the sun. He had been lost
or had wandered out of existence for he no longer
existed. How strange to think of him passing out of
existence in such a way, not by death, but by fading
out in the sun or by being lost and forgotten somewhere
in the universe! It was strange to see his small body
appear again for a moment : a little boy in a grey belted
suit. His hands were in his side pockets and his
trousers were tucked in at the knees by elastic bands.
On the evening of the day on which the property was
sold Stephen followed his father meekly about the city
from bar to bar. To the sellers in the market, to the
barmen and barmaids, to the beggars who importuned
him for a lob Mr Dedalus told the same tale, that he
was an old Corkonian, that he had been trying for thirty
years to get rid of his Cork accent up in Dublin and
that Peter Pickackafax beside him was his eldest son
but that he was only a Dublin jackeen.
They had set out early in the morning from New-
combe's coffeehouse, where Mr Dedalus' cup had rattled
noisily against its saucer, and Stephen had tried to cover
that shameful sign of his father's drinking-bout of the
night before by moving his chair and coughing. One
humiliation had succeeded another — the false smiles of
the market sellers, the curvetings and oglings of the bar-
maids with whom his father flirted, the compliments and
encouraging words of his father's friends. They had
told him that he had a great look of his grandfather and
Mr Dedalus had agreed that he was an ugly likeness.
They had unearthed traces of a Cork accent in his speech
and made him admit that the Lee was a much finer river
than the Liffey. One of them, in order to put his Latin
to the proof, had made him translate short passages from
Dilectus, and asked him whether it was correct to say:
Tempora mutantur nos et mutamur in illis, or Tempora
mutantur et nos mutamur in illis. Another, a brisk old
man, whom Mr Dedalus called Johnny Cashman, had
covered him with confusion by asking him to say which
were prettier, the Dublin girls or the Cork girls.
— He 's not that way built, said Mr Dedalus. Leave
him alone. He's a levelheaded thinking boy who doesn't
bother his head about that kind of nonsense.
— Then he's not his father's son, said the little old
— I don't know, I'm sure, said Mr Dedalus, smiling
— ^Your father, said the little old man to Stephen,
was the boldest flirt in the city of Cork in his day. Do
you know that?
Stephen looked down and studied the tiled floor of
the bar into which they had drifted.
— Now don't be putting ideas into his head, said Mr
Dedalus. Leave him to his Maker.
— Yerra, sure I wouldn't put any ideas into his head.
I'm old enough to be his grandfather. And I am a
grandfather, said the little old man to Stephen. Do you
know that ?
— Are you ? asked Stephen.
— Bedad I am, said the little old man. I have two
bouncing grandchildren out at Sunday's Well. Now,
then ! What age do you think I am ! And I remember
seeing your grandfather in his red coat riding out to
hounds. That was before you were bom.
— Ay, or thought of, said Mr Dedalus.
— Bedad I did, repeated the little old man. And,
more than that, I can remember even your great grand-
father, old John Stephen Dedalus, and a fierce old fire-
eater he was. Now, then ! There 's a memory for you !
— That's three generations — four generations, said
another of the company. Why, Johnny Cashman, you
must be nearing the century.
— Well, I'll tell you the truth, said the little old man.
I'm just twentyseven years of age.
— "We're as old as we feel, Johnny, said Mr Dedalus.
— And just finish what you have there, and we'll have
another. Here, Tim or Tom or whatever your name is,
give us the same again here. By God, I don't feel more
than eighteen myself. There's that son of mine there
not half my age and I'm a better man than he is any
day of the week.
— Draw it mild now, Dedalus. I think it's time for
you to take a back seat, said the gentleman who had
— No, by God ! asserted Mr Dedalus. Ill sing a tenor
song against him or I'll vault a fire-barred gate against
him or I'll run with him after the hounds across the
country as I did thirty years ago along with the Kerry
Boy and the best man for it.
— But he'll beat you here, said the little old man,
tapping his forehead and raising his glass to drain it.
— Well, I hope he'll be as good a man as his father.
That's all I can say, said Mr Dedalus.
— If he is, he'll do, said the little old man.
— And thanks be to God, Johnny, said Mr Dedalus,
that we lived so long and did so little harm.
— But did so much good, Simon, said the little old
man gravely. Thanks be to God we lived so long and
did so much good.
Stephen watched the three glasses being raised from
the counter as his father and his two cronies drank to
the memory of their past. An abyss of fortune or of
temperament sundered him from them. His mind
seemed older than theirs : it shone coldly on their strifes
and happiness and regrets like a moon upon a younger
earth. No life or youth stirred in him as it had stirred
in them. He had known neither the pleasure of com-
panionship with others nor the vigour of rude male
health nor filial piety. Nothing stirred within his soul
but a cold and cruel and loveless lust. His childhood
was dead or lost and with it his soul capable of simple
joys and he was drifting amid life like the barren shell
of the moon.
** Art thou pale for weariness
Of climbing heaven and gazing on the earth,
Wandering companionless ? ..."
He repeated to himself the lines of Shelley 's fragment.
Its alternation of sad human ineffectualness with vast in-
human cycles of activity chilled him, and he forgot his
own human and ineffectual grieving.
* * * # ^
Stephen's mother and his brother and one of his
cousins waited at the corner of quiet Foster Place while
he and his father went up the steps and along the
colonnade where the Highland sentry was parading.
When they had passed into the great hall and stood at
the counter Stephen drew forth his orders on the gov-
ernor of the bank of Ireland for thirty and three
pounds; and these sums, the moneys of his exhibition
and essay prize, were paid over to him rapidly by the
teller in notes and in coin respectively. He bestowed
them in his pockets with feigned composure and suffered
the friendly teller, to whom his father chatted, to take
his hand across the broad counter and wish him a bril-
liant career in after life. He was impatient of their
voices and could not keep his feet at rest. But the teller
still deferred the serving of others to say he was living
in changed times and that there was nothing like giving
a boy the best education that money could buy. Mr
Dedalus lingered in the hall gazing about him and up at
the roof and telling Stephen, who urged him to come
out, that they were standing in the house of commons
of the old Irish parliament.
— God help us ! he said piously, to think of the men
of those times, Stephen, Hely Hutchinson and Flood and
Henry G rattan and Charles Kendal Bushe, and the
noblemen we have now, leaders of the Irish people at
home and abroad. Why, by God, they wouldn't be seen
dead in a ten acre field with them. No, Stephen, old
chap, I'm sorry to say that they are only as I roved out
one fine May morning in the merry month of sweet July.
A keen October wind was blowing round the bank.
The three figures standing at the edge of the muddy
path had pinched cheeks and watery eyes. Stephen
looked at his thinly clad mother and remembered that
a few days before he had seen a mantle priced at twenty
guineas in the windows of Barnardo's.
— Well that 's done, said Mr Dedalus.
— We had better go to dinner, said Stephen. Where t
— Dinner ? said Mr Dedalus. Well, I suppose we had
— Some place that's not too dear, said Mrs Dedalus.
— Underdone 's t
— Yes. Some quiet place.
— Come along, said Stephen quickly. It doesn't
matter about the dearness.
He walked on before them with short nervous steps,
smiling. They tried to keep up with him, smiling also
at his eagerness.
— Take it easy like a good young fellow, said his
father. We're not out for the half mile, are we?
For a swift season of merrymaking the money of his
prizes ran through Stephen's fingers. Great parcels of
groceries and delicacies and dried fruits arrived from
the city. Every day he drew up a bill of fare for the
family and every night led a party of three or four to
the theatre to see Ingomar or The Lady of Lyons. In
his coat pockets he carried squares of Vienna chocolate
for his guests while his trousers' pockets bulged with
masses of silver and copper coins. He bought presents
for everyone, overhauled his room, wrote out resolutions,
marshalled his books up and down their shelves, pored
upon all kinds of price lists, drew up a form of common-
wealth for the household by which every member of it
held some office, opened a loan bank for his family and
pressed loans on willing borrowers so that he might have
the pleasure of making out receipts and reckoning the
interests on the sums lent. When he could do no more
he drove up and down the city in trams. Then the
season of pleasure came to an end. The pot of pink
enamel paint gave out and the wainscot of his bedroom
remained with its unfinished and ill plastered coat.
His household returned to its usual way of life. His
mother had no further occasion to upbraid him for
squandering his money. He, too, returned to his old life
at school and all his novel enterprises fell to pieces.
The commonwealth fell, the loan bank closed its coffers
and its books on a sensible loss, the rules of life which
he had drawn about himself fell into desuetude.
How foolish his aim had been ! He had tried to build
a breakwater of order and elegance against the sordid
tide of life without him and to dam up, by rules of
conduct and active interests and new filial relations, the
powerful recurrence of the tide within him. Useless.
From without as from within the water had flowed over
his barriers : their tides began once more to jostle fiercely
above the crumbled mole.
He saw clearly, too, his own futile isolation. He had
not gone one step nearer the lives he had sought to
approach nor bridged the restless shame and rancour
that had divided him from mother and brother and
sister. He felt that he was hardly of the one blood with
them but stood to them rather in the mystical kinship of
fosterage, foster child and foster brother.
He turned to appease the fierce longings of his heart
before which everything else was idle and alien. He
eared little that he was in mortal sin, that his life had
grown to be a tissue of subterfuge and falsehood. Be-
side the savage desire within him to realise the enor-
mities which he brooded on nothing was sacred. He
bore cynicially with the shameful details of his secret
riots in which he exulted to defile with patience what-
ever image had attracted his eyes. By day and by night
he moved among distorted images of the outer world. A
figure that had seemed to him by day demure and inno-
cent came towards him by night through the winding
darkness of sleep, her face transfigured by a lecherous
cunning, her eyes bright with brutish joy. Only the
morning pained him with its dim memory of dark orgi-
astic riot, its keen and humiliating sense of transgression.
He returned to his wanderings. The veiled autumnal
evenings led him from street to street as they had led
him years before along the quiet avenues of Blackrock.
But no vision of trim front gardens or of kindly lights
in the windows poured a tender influence upon him now.
Only at times, in the pauses of his desire, when the lux-
ury that was w^ting him gave room to a softer languor,
the image of Mercedes traversed the background of his
memory. He saw again the small white house and the
garden of rosebushes on the road that led to the moun-
tains and he remembered the sadly proud gesture of re-
fusal which he was to make there, standing with her in
the moonlit garden after years of estrangement and ad-
venture. At those moments the soft speeches of Claude
Melnotte rose to his lips and eased his unrest. A tender
premonition touched him of the tryst he had then looked
forward to and, in spite of the horrible reality which lay
between his hope of then and now, of the holy encounter
he had then imagined at which weakness and timidity
and inexperience were to fall from him.
Such moments passed and the wasting fires of lust
sprang up again. The verses passed from his lips and
the inarticulate cries and the unspoken brutal words
rushed forth from his brain to force a passage. His
blood was in revolt. He wandered up and down the
dark slimy streets peering into the gloom of lanes and
doorways, listening eagerly for any sound. He moaned
to himself like some baffled prowling beast. He wanted
to sin with another of his kind, to force another being to
sin with him and to exult with her in sin. He felt some
dark presence moving irresistibly upon him from the
darkness, a presence subtle and murmurous as a flood
filling him wholly with itself. Its murmur besieged his
ears like the murmur of some multitude in sleep; its
subtle streams penetrated his being. His hands clenched
convulsively and his teeth set together as he suffered the
agony of its penetration. He stretched out his arms in
the street to hold fast the frail swooning form that
eluded him and incited him: and the cry that he had
strangled for so long in his throat issued from his lips.
It broke from him like a wail of despair from a hell of
sufferers and died in a wail of furious entreaty, a cry
for an iniquitous abandonment, a cry which was but the
echo of an obscene scrawl which he had read on the ooz-
ing wall of a urinal.
He had wandered into a maze of narrow and dirty
streets. From the foul laneways he heard bursts of
hoarse riot and wrangling and the drawling of drunken
singers. He walked onward, undismayed, wondering
whether he had strayed into the quarter of the Jews.
Women and girls dressed in long vivid gowns traversed
the street from house to house. They were leisurely and
perfumed. A trembling seized him and his eyes grew
dim. The yellow gasflames arose before his troubled
vision against the vapoury sky, burning as if before an
altar. Before the doors and in the lighted halls groups
were gathered arrayed as for some rite. He was in
another world: he had awakened from a slumber of
He stood still in the middle of the roadway, his heart
clamouring against his bosom in a tumult. A young
woman dressed in a long pink gown laid her hand on
his arm to detain him and gazed into his face. She
— Good night, Willie dear !
Her room was warm and lightsome. A huge doll sat
with her legs apart in the copious easychair beside the
bed. He tried to bid his tongue speak that he might
seem at ease, watching her as she undid her gown, not-
ing the proud conscious movements of her perfumed
As he stood silent in the middle of the room she came
over to him and embraced him gaily and gravely. Her
round arms held him firmly to her and he, seeing her
face lifted to him in serious calm and feeling the warm
calm rise and fall of her breast, all but burst into hysteri-
cal weeping. Tears of joy and relief shone in his de-
lighted eyes and his lips parted though they would not
She passed her tinkling hand through his hair, calling
him a little rascal.
— Give me a kiss, she said.
His lips would not bend to kiss her. He wanted to be
held firmly in her arms, to be caressed slowly, slowly,
slowly. In her arms he felt that he had suddenly become
strong and fearless and sure of himself. But his lips
would not bend to kiss her.
With a sudden movement she bowed his head and
joined her lips to his and he read the meaning of her
movements in her frank uplifted eyes. It was too much
for him. He closed his eyes, surrendering himself to
her, body and mind, conscious of nothing in the world
but the dark pressure of her softly parting lips. They
pressed upon his brain as upon his lips as though they
were the vehicle of a vague speech ; and between them he
felt an unknown and timid pressure, darker than the
swoon of sin, softer than sound or odour.
The swift December dusk had come tumbling clown-
ishly after its dull day and as he stared through the
dull square of the window of the schoolroom he felt his
belly crave for its food. He hoped there would be stew
for dinner, turnips and carrots and bruised potatoes and
fat mutton pieces to be ladled out in thick peppered
flour-fattened sauce. Stuff it into you, his belly coun-
It would be a gloomy secret night. After early night-
fall the yellow lamps would light up, here and there,
the squalid quarter of the brothels, lie would follow a
devious course up and down the streets, circling always
nearer and nearer in a tremor of fear and joy, until his
feet led him suddenly round a dark corner. The whores
would be just coming out of their houses making ready
for the night, yawning lazily after their sleep and settling
the hairpins in their clusters of hair. He would pass by
them calmly waiting for a sudden movement of his own
will or a sudden call to his sin-loving soul from their
soft perfumed flesh. Yet as he prowled in quest of that
call, his senses, stultified only by his desire, would note
keenly all that wounded or shamed them ; his eyes, a ring
of porter froth on a clothless table or a photograph of two
soldiers standing to attention on a gaudy playbill; his
ears, the drawling jargon of greeting :
— Hello, Bertie, any good in your mind ?
— Is that you, pigeon ?
— Number ten. Fresh Nelly is waiting on you.
— Good night, husband ! Coming in to have a short
The equation on the page of his scribbler began to
spread out a widening tail, eyed and starred like a pea-
cock's; and, when the eyes and stars of its indices had
been eliminated, began slowly to fold itself together
again. The indices appearing and disappearing were
eyes opening and closing; the eyes opening and closing
were stars being born and being quenched. The vast
cycle of starry life bore his weary mind outward to its
verge and inward to its centre, a distant music accom-
panying him outward and inward. What music? The
music came nearer and he recalled the words, the words
of Shelley's fragment upon the moon wandering com-
panionless, pale for weariness. The stars began to crum-
ble and a cloud of fine star-dust fell through space.
The dull light fell more faintly upon the page whereon
another equation began to unfold itself slowly and to
spread abroad its widening tail. It was his own soul
going forth to experience, unfolding itself sin by sin,
spreading abroad the balefire of its burning stars and
folding back upon itself, fading slowly, quenching its
own lights and fires. They were quenched : and the cold
darkness filled chaos.
A cold lucid indifference reigned in his soul. At his
first violent sin he had felt a wave of vitality pass out
of him and had feared to find his body or his soul
maimed by the excess. Instead the vital wave had car-
ried him on its bosom out of himself and back again
when it receded : and no part of body or soul had been
maimed, but a dark peace had been established between
them. The chaos in which his ardour extinguished itself
was a cold indifferent knowledge of himself. He had
sinned mortally not once but many times and he knew
that, while he stood in danger of eternal damnation for
the first sin alone, by every succeeding sin he multiplied
his guilt and his punishment. His days and works and
thoughts could make no atonement for him, the foun-
tains of sanctifying grace having ceased to refresh his
soul. At most, by an alms given to a beggar whose
blessing he fled from, he might hope wearily to win for
himself some measure of actual grace. Devotion had
gone by the board. What did it avail to pray when he
knew that his soul lusted after its own destruction ? A
certain pride, a certain awe, withheld him from offering
to God even one prayer at night though he knew it was
in God 'a power to take away his life while he slept and
hurl his soul hellward ere he could beg for mercy. His
pride in his own sin, his loveless awe of God, told him
that his offence was too grievous to be atoned for in
whole or in part by a false homage to the Allseeing and
— Well now, Ennis, I declare you have a head and so
has my stick! Do you mean to say that you are not
able to tell me what a surd is?
The blundering answer stirred the embers of his con-
tempt of his fellows. Towards others he felt neither
shame nor fear. On Sunday mornings as he passed the
church door he glanced coldly at the worshippers who
stood bareheaded, four deep, outside the church, morally
present at the mass which they could neither see nor
hear. Their dull piety and the sickly smell of the cheap
hair oil with which they had anointed their beads re-
pelled him from the altar they prayed at. He stooped
to the evil of hypocrisy with others, sceptical of their
innocence which he could cajole so easily.
On the wall of his bedroom hung an illuminated scroll,
the certificate of his prefecture in the college of the
sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On Saturday
mornings when the sodality met in the chapel to recite
the little office his place was a cushioned kneeling-desk
at the right of the altar from which he led his wing of
boys through .the responses. The falsehood of his posi-
tion did not pain him. If at moments he felt an impulse
to rise from his post of honour and, confessing before
them all his unworthiness, to leave the chapel, a glance
at their faces restrained him. The imagery of the
psalms of prophecy soothed his barren pride. The
glories of Mary held his soul captive: spikenard and
myrrh and frankincense, symbolising her royal lineage,
her emblems, the late-flowering plant and late-blossom-
ing tree, symbolising the agelong gradual growth of her
cultus among men. When it fell to him to read the
lesson towards the close of the office he read it in a
veiled voice, lulling his conscience to its music.
Quasi cedrus exaltata sum in Lihanon et quasi cu-
pressus in monte Sion. Quasi palma exaltata sum in
Gades et quasi plantatio rosae in Jericho. Quasi uliva
speciosa in campis et quasi plantanus exaltata sum juxta
aquam in plateis. Sicut cinnamomum et halsamum
aromatizans odorem dedi et quasi m^rrha electa dedi
His sin, which had covered him from the sight of God,
had led him nearer to the refuge of sinners. Her eyes
seemed to regard him with mild pity; her holiness, a
strange light glowing faintly upon her frail flesh, did
not humiliate the sinner who approached her. If ever he
was impelled to cast sin from him and to repent, the
impulse that moved him was the wish to be her knight.
If ever his soul, re-entering her dwelling shyly after the
frenzy of his body's lust had spent itself, was turned
towards her whose emblem is the morning star, *' bright
and musical, telling of heaven and infusing peace," it
was when her names were murmured softly by lips
whereon there still lingered foul and shameful words,
the savour itself of a lewd kiss.
That was strange. He tried to think how it could be
but the dusk, deepening in the schoolroom, covered over
his thoughts. The bell rang. The master marked the
sums and cuts to be done for the next lesson and went
out. Heron, beside Stephen, began to hum tunelessly.
My excellent friend Bornbados.
Ennis, who had gone to the yard, came back, saying:
— The boy from the house is coming up for the rector.
A tall boy behind Stephen rubbed his hands and said :
— ^That's game ball. We can scut the whole hour.
He won't be in till after half two. Then you can ask
him questions on the catechism, Dedalus.
Stephen, leaning back and drawing idly on his
scribbler, listened to the talk about him which Heron
checked from time to time by saying :
— Shut up, will you. Don't make such a bally racket !
It was strange too that he found an arid pleasure in
following up to the end the rigid lines of the doctrines
of the church and penetrating into obscure silences only
to hear and feel the more deeply his own condemnation.
The sentence of Saint James which says that he who
offends against one commandment becomes guilty of all
had seemed to him first a swollen phrase until he had
begun to grope in the darkness of his own state. From
the evil seed of lust all other deadly sins had sprung
forth : pride in himself and contempt of others, covetous-
ness in using money for the purchase of unlawful
pleasures, envy of those whose vices he could not reach
to and calumnious murmuring against the pious, glut-
tonous enjoyment of food, the dull glowering anger amid
which he brooded upon his longing, the swamp of spir-
itual and bodily sloth in which his whole being had sunk.
As he sat in his bench gazing calmly at the rector's
shrewd harsh face his mind wound itself in and out of
the curious questions proposed to it. If a man had
stolen a pound in his youth and had used that pound to
amass a huge fortune how much was he obliged to give
back, the pound he had stolen only or the pound together
with the compound interest accruing upon it or all his
huge fortune? If a layman in giving baptism pour the
water before saying the words is the child baptised?
Is bapistm with a mineral water valid? How comes it
that while the first beatitude promises the kingdom of
heaven to the poor of heart, the second beatitude prom-
ises also to the meek that they shall possess the land?
Why was the sacrament of the eucharist instituted under
the two species of bread and wine if Jesus Christ be
present body and blood, soul and divinity, in the bread
alone and in the wine alone? Does a tiny particle of
the consecrated bread contain all the body and blood
of Jesus Christ or a part only of the body and blood?
If the wine change into vinegar and the host crumble
into corruption after they have been consecrated, is Jesus
Christ still present under their species as God and as
— Here he is ! Here he is !
A boy from his post at the window had seen the
rector come from the house. All the catechisms were
opened and all heads bent upon them silently. The
rector entered and took his seat on the dais. A gentle
kick from the tall boy in the bench behind urged
Stephen to ask a difficult question.
The rector did not ask for a catechism to hear the
lesson from. He clasped his hands on the desks and
— The retreat will begin on Wednesday afternoon in
honour of Saint Francis Xavier whose feast day is
Saturday. The retreat will go on from Wednesday to
Friday. On Friday confession will be heard all the
afternoon after beads. If any boys have special con-
fessors perhaps it will be better for them not to change.
Mass will be on Saturday morning at nine o'clock and
general communion for the whole college. Saturday will
be a free day. But Saturday and Sunday being free
days some boys might be inclined to think that Monday
is a free day also. Beware of making that mistake. I
think you, Lawless, are likely to make that mistake.
— I, sir? Why, sir?
A little wave of quiet mirth broke forth over the class
of boys from the rector's grim smile. Stephen's heart
began slowly to fold and fade with fear like a withering
The rector went on gravely :
— You are all familiar with the story of the life of
Saint Francis Xavier, I suppose, the patron of your
college. He came of an old and illustrious Spanish
family and you remember that he was one of the first
followers of Saint Ignatius. They met in Paris where
Francis Xavier was professor of philosophy at the
university. This young and brilliant nobleman and man
of letters entered heart and soul into the ideas of our
glorious founder, and you know that he, at his own
desire, was sent by Saint Ignatius to preach to the
Indians. He is called, as you know, the apostle of the
Indies. He went from country to country in the east,
from Africa to India, from India to Japan, baptising the
people. He is said to have baptised as many as ten
thousand idolaters in one month. It is said that his
right arm had grown powerless from having been raised
so often over the heads of those whom he baptised. He
wished then to go to China to win still more souls for
God but he died of fever on the island of Sancian. A
great Saint, Saint Francis Xavier! A great soldier of
The rector paused and then, shaking his clasped hands
before him, went on:
— He had the faith in him that moves mountains.
Ten thousand souls won for God in a single month!
That is a true conqueror, true to the motto of our order :
ad major em Dei gloriam! A saint who has great power
in heaven, remember: power to intercede for us in our
grief, power to obtain whatever we pray for if it be
for the good of our souls, power above all to obtain for
us the grace to repent if we be in sin. A great saint,
Saint Francis Xavier ! A great fisher of souls !
He ceased to shake his clasped hands and, resting
them against his forehead, looked right and left of them
teenly at his listeners out of his dark stern eyes,
In the silence their dark fire kindled the dusk into a
tawny glow. Stephen's heart had withered up like a
flower of the desert that feels the simoom coming from
• • * •
— Remember only thy last things and thou shalt not
sin for ever — words taken, my dear little brothers in
Christ, from the book of Ecclesiastes, seventh chapter,
fortieth verse. In the name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Stephen sat in the front bench of the chapel. Father
Amall sat at a table to the left of the altar. He wore
about his shoulders a heavy cloak; his pale face was
drawn and his voice broken with rheum. The figure of
his old master, so strangely rearisen, brought back to
Stephen's mind his life at Clongowes: the wide play-
grounds, swarming with boys, the square ditch, the little
cemetery off the main avenue of limes where he had
dreamed of being buried, the firelight on the wall of the
infirmary where he lay sick, the sorrowful face of
Brother Michael. His soul, as these memories came back
to him, became again a child's soul.
— We are assembled here today, my dear little
brothers in Christ, for one brief moment far away from
the busy bustle of the outer world to celebrate and to
honour one of the greatest of saints, the apostle of the
Indies, the. patron saint also of your college, Saint
Francis Xavier. Year after year for much longer than
any of you, my dear little boys, can remember or than I
can remember the boys of this college have met in this
very chapel to make their annual retreat before the feast
day of their patron saint. Time has gone on and brought
with it its changes. Even in the last few years what
changes can most of you not remember? Many of the
boys who sat m those front benches a few years ago are
perhaps now in distant lands, in the burning tropics or
immersed in professional duties or in seminaries or
voyaging over the vast expanse of the deep or, it may
be, already called by the great God to another life and
to the rendering up of their stewardship. And still as
the years roll by, bringing with them changes for good
and bad, the memory of the great saint is honoured by
the boys of his college who make every year their
annual retreat on the days preceding the feast day set
apart by our Holy Mother the Church to transmit to all
the ages the name and fame of one of the greatest sons
of catholic Spain.
— Now what is the meaning of this word retreat and
why is it allowed on all hands to be a most salutory prac-
tice for all who desire to lead before God and in the eyes
of men a truly Christian life ? A retreat, my dear boys,
signifies a withdrawal for a while from the cares of our
life, the cares of this workaday w^orld, in order to ex-
amine the state of our conscience, to reflect on the mys-
teries of holy religion and to understand better why we
are here in this world. During these few days I intend
to put before you some thoughts concerning the four
last things. They are, as you know from your catechism,
death, judgment, hell and heaven. We shall try to un-
derstand them fully during these few days so that we
may derive from the understanding of them a lasting
benefit to our souls. And remember, my dear boys, that
we have been sent into this world for one thing and
for one thing alone: to do God's holy will and to save
our immortal souls. All else is worthless. One thing
alone is needful, the salvation of one 's soul. What doth
it profit a man to gain the whole world if he suffer the
loss of his immortal soul ? Ah, my dear boys, believe me
there is nothing in this wretched world that can make up
for such a loss.
— I will ask you therefore, my dear boys, to put away
from your minds during these few days all worldly
thoughts, whether of study or pleasure or ambition,
and to give all your attention to the state of your souls.
I need hardly remind you that during the days of the
retreat all boys are expected to preserve a quiet and
pious demeanour and to shun all loud unseemly
pleasure. The elder boys, of course, will see that this
custom is not infringed and I look especially to the
prefects and officers of the sodality of Our Blessed Lady
and of the sodality of the Holy Angels to set a good
example to their fellow-students.
— Let us try, therefore, to make this retreat in honour
of St. Francis with our whole heart and our whole mind.
God's blessing will then be upon all your year's studies.
But, above and beyond all, let this retreat be one to
which you can look back in after years when, may be,
you are far from this college and among very different
surroundings, to which you can look back with joy and
thankfulness and give thanks to God for having granted
you this occasion of laying the first foundation of a
pious honourable zealous Christian life. And if, as may
so happen, there be at this moment in these benches any
poor soul who has had the unutterable misfortune to
lose God's holy grace and to fall into grievous sin, I
fervently trust and pray that this retreat may be the
turning-point in the life of that soul. I pray to God
through the merits of His zealous servant Francis Xavier
that such a soul may be led to sincere repentance and
that the holy communion on St. Francis' day of this
year may be a lasting covenant between God and that
soul. For just and unjust, for saint and sinner alike,
may this retreat be a memorable one.
— Help me, my dear little brothers in Christ. Help
me by your pious attention, by your own devotion, by
your outward demeanour. Banish from your minds all
worldly thoughts, and think only of the last things,
death, judgment, hell and heaven. He who remembers
these things, says Ecclesiastes, shall not sin for ever.
He who remembers the last things will act and think
with them always before his eyes. He will live a good
life and die a good death, believing and knowing that,
if he has sacrificed much in this earthly life, it will be
given to him a hundredfold and a thousandfold more
in the life to come, in the kingdom without end — a bless-
ing, my dear boys, which I wish you from my heart,
one and all, in the name of the Father and of the Son
and of the Holy Ghost. Amen !
As he walked home with silent companions a thick fog
seemed to compass his mind. He waited in stupor of
mind till it should lift and reveal what it had hidden.
He ate his dinner with surly appetite and when the meal
was over and the grease-strewn plates lay abandoned on
the table, he rose and went to the window, clearing the
thick scum from his mouth with his tongue and licking
it from his lips. So he had sunk to the state of a beast
that licks his chaps after meat. This was the end ; and
a faint glimmer of fear began to pierce the fog of his
mind. He pressed his face against the pane of the win-
dow and gazed out into the darkening street. Forms
passed this way and that through the dull light. And
that was life. The letters of the name of Dublin lay
heavily upon his mind, pushing one another surily hither
and thither with slow boorish insistence. His soul was
fattening and congealing into a gross grease, plunging
ever deeper in its dull fear into a sombre threatening
dusk, while the body that was his stood, listless and dis-
honoured, gazing out of darkened eyes, helpless, per-
turbed and human for a bovine god to stare upon.
The next day brought death and judgment, stirring
his soul slowly from its listless despair. The faint glim-
mer of fear became a terror of spirit as the hoarse voice
of the preacher blew death into his soul. He suffered
its agony. He felt the death-chill touch the extremities
and creep onward towards the heart, the film of death
veiling the eyes, the bright centres of the brain extin-
guished one by one like lamps, the last sweat oozing upon
the skin, the powerlessness of the dying limbs, the speech
thickening and wandering and failing, the heart throb-
bing faintly and more faintly, all but vanquished, the
breath, the poor breath, the poor helpless human spirit,
sobbing and sighing, gurgling and rattling in the throat.
No help! No help! He — he himself — his body to
which he had yielded was dying. Into the grave with it.
Nail it down into a wooden box, the corpse. Carry it
out of the house on the shoulders of hirelings. Thrust
it out of men's sight into a long hole in the ground, into
the grave, to rot, to feed the mass of its creeping worms
and to be devoured by scuttling plump-bellied rats.
And while the friends were still standing in tears by
the bedside the soul of the sinner was judged. At the
last moment of conciousness the whole earthly life passed
before the vision of the soul and, ere it had time to
reflect, the body had died and the soul stood terrified
before the judgment seat. God, who had long been
merciful, would then be just. He had long been patient,
pleading with the sinful soul, giving it time to repent,
sparing it yet awhile. But that time had gone. Time
was to sin and to enjoy, time was to scoff at God and
at the warnings of His holy church, time was to defy
His majesty, to disobey His commands, to hoodwink
one's fellow men, to commit sin after sin and to hide
one's corruption from the sight of men. But that time
was over. Now it was God's turn: and He was not to
be hoodwinked or deceived. Every sin would then come
forth from its lurking-place, the most rebellious against
the divine will and the most degrading to our poor
corrupt nature, the tiniest imperfection and the most
heinous atrocity. What did it avail then to have been
a great emperor, a great general, a marvellous inventor,
the most learned of the learned ? All were as one before
the judgment seat of God. He would reward the good
and punish the wicked. One single instant was enough
for the trial of a man's soul. One single instant after
the body's death, the soul had been weighed in the bal-
ance. The particular judgment was over and the soul
had passed to the abode of bliss or to the prison of pur-
gatory or had been hurled howling into hell.
Nor was that all. God's justice had still to be vin-
dicated before men: after the particular there still re-
mained the general judgment. The last day had come.
The doomsday was at hand. The stars of heaven were
falling upon the earth like the figs cast by the figtree
which the wind has shaken. The sun, the great
luminary of the universe, had become as sackcloth of
hair. The moon was blood red. The firmament was as
a scroll rolled away. The archangel Michael, the prince
of the heavenly host, appeared glorious and terrible
against the sky. With one foot on the sea and one foot
on the land he blew from the archangelical trumpet the
brazen death of time. The three blasts of the angel filled
all the univers'S. Time is, time was, but time shall be no
more. At the last blast the souls of universal humanity
throng towards the valley of Jehosaphat, rich and poor,
gentle and simple, wise and foolish, good and wicked.
The soul of every human being that has ever existed, the
souls of all those who shall yet be bom, all the sons and
daughters of Adam, all are assembled on that supreme
day. And lo, the supreme judge is coming ! No longer
the lowly Lamb of God, no longer the meek Jesus of
Nazareth, no longer the Man of Sorrows, no longer the
Good Shepherd, He is seen now coming upon the clouds,
in great power and majesty, attended by nine choirs of
angels, angels and archangels, principalities, powers and
virtues, thrones and dominations, cherubim and sera-
phim, God Omnipotent, God everlasting. He speaks:
and His voice is heard even at the farthest limits of
space, even in the bottomless abyss. Supreme Judge,
from His sentence there will be and can be no appeal.
He calls the just to His side, bidding them enter into
the Kingdom, the eternity of bliss, prepared for them.
The unjust He casts from Him, crying in His offended
majesty : Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire
which was prepared for the devil and his angels. 0,
what agony then for the miserable sinners! Friend is
torn apart from friend, children are torn from their par-
ents, husbands from their wives. The poor sinner holds
out his arms to those who were dear to him in this earthly
world, to those whose simple piety perhaps he made a
mock of, to those who counselled him and tried to lead
him on the right path, to a kind brother, to a loving
sister, to the mother and father who loved him so dearly.
But it is too late : the just turn away from the wretched
damned souls which now appear before the eyes of all
in their hideous and evil character. you hypocrites,
you whited sepulchres, you who present a smooth
smiling face to the world while your soul within is a foul
swamp of sin, how will it fare with you in that terrible
And this day will come, shall come, must come; the
day of death and the day of judgment. It is appointed
unto man to die, and after death the judgment. Death
is certain. The time and manner are uncertain, whether
from long disease or from some unexpected accident ; the
Son of God Cometh at an hour when you little expect
Him. Be therefore ready every moment, seeing that
you may die at any moment. Death is the end of us all.
Death and judgment, brought into the world by the sin
of our first parents, are the dark portals that close our
earthly existence, the portals that open into the unknown
and the unseen, portals through which every soul must
pass, alone, unaided save by its good works, without
friend or brother or parent or master to help it, alone
and trembling. Let that thought be ever before our
minds and then we cannot sin. Death, a cause of terror
to the sinner, is a blessed moment for him who has
walked in the right path, fulfilling the duties of his
station in life, attending to his morning and evening
prayers, approaching the holy sacrament frequently and
performing good and merciful works. For the pious
and believing catholic, for the just man, death is no cause
of terror. "Was it not Addison, the great English writer,
who, when on his deathbed, sent for the wicked young
earl of Warwick to let him see how a christian can meet
his end. He it is and he alone, the pious and believing
christian, who can say in his heart :
grave, where is thy victory f
O death, where is thy sting f
Every word of it was for him. Against his sin, foul
and secret, the whole wrath of God was aimed. The
preacher's knife had probed deeply into his disclosed
conscience and he felt now that his soul was festering
in sin. Yes, the preacher was right. God's turn had
come. Like a beast in its lair his soul had lain down
in its own filth but the blasts of the angel's trumpet
had driven him forth from the darkness of sin into the
light. The words of doom cried by the angel shattered
in an instant his presumptuous peace. The wind of
the last day blew through his mind ; his sins, the jewel-
eyed harlots of his imagination, fled before the hurri-
cane, squeaking like mice in their terror and huddled
under a mane of hair.
As he crossed the square, walking homeward, the light
laughter of a girl reached his burning ear. The frail,
gay sound smote his heart more strongly than a trumpet-
blast, and, not daring to lift his eyes, he turned aside
and gazed, as he walked, into the shadow of the tangled
shrubs. Shame rose from his smitten heart and flooded
his whole being. The image of Emma appeared before
him and under her eyes the flood of shame rushed forth
anew from his heart. If she knew to what his mind
had subjected her or how his brute-like lust had torn
and trampled upon her innocence! Was that boyish
love? Was that chivalry? Was that poetry? The
sordid details of his orgies stank under his very nostrils.
The sootcoated packet of pictures which he had hidden
in the flue of the fireplace and in the presence of whose
shameless or bashful wantonness he lay for hours sin-
ning in thought and deed; his monstrous dreams, peo-
pled by apelike creatures and by harlots with gleaming
jewel eyes; the foul long letters he had written in the
joy of guilty confession and carried secretly for days
and days only to throw them under cover of night among
the grass in the corner of a field or beneath some hinge-
less door or in some niche in the hedges where a girl
might come upon them as she walked by and read them
secretly. Mad! Mad! Was it possible he had done
these things ? A cold sweat broke out upon his forehead
as the foul memories condensed within his brain.
When the agony of shame had passed from him he
tried to raise his soul from its abject powerlessness.
God and the Blessed Virgin were too far from him : God
was too great and stern and the Blessed Virgin too pure
and holy. But he imagined that he stood near Emma
in a wide land and, humbly and in tears, bent and kissed
the elbow of her sleeve.
In the wide land under a tender lucid evening sky, a
cloud drifting westward amid a pale green sea of heaven,
they stood together, children that had erred. Their
error had offended deeply God's majesty though it was
the error of two children; but it had not offended her
whose beauty *' is not like earthly beauty, dangerous to
look upon, but like the morning star which is its emblem,
bright and musical.'' The eyes were not offended which
she turned upon him nor reproachful. She placed their
hands together, hand in hand, and said, speaking to their
— Take hands, Stephen and Emma. It is a beautiful
evening now in heaven. You have erred hut you are
always my children. It is one heart that loves another
heart. Take hands together, my dear children, and you
will be happy together and your hearts will love each
The chapel was flooded by the dull scarlet light that
filtered through the lowered blinds; and through the
fissure between the last blind and the sash a shaft of
wan light entered like a spear and touched the embossed
brasses of the candlesticks upon the altar that gleamed
like the battle-worn mail armour of angels.
Rain was falling on the chapel, on the garden, on the
college. It would rain for ever, noiselessly. The water
would rise inch by inch, covering the grass and shrubs,
covering the trees and houses, covering the monuments
and the mountain tops. All life would be choked off,
noiselessly: birds, men, elephants, pigs, children: noise-
lessly floating corpses amid the litter of the wreckage of
the world. Forty days and forty nights the rain would
fall till the waters covered the face of the earth.
It might be. "Why not ?
— Hell has enlarged its soul and opened its mouth
without any limits — ^-words taken, my dear little broth-
ers in Christ Jesus, from the book of Isaias, fifth chap-
ter, fourteenth verse. In the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
The preacher took a chainless watch from a pocket
within his soutane and, having considered its dial for
a moment in silence, placed it silently before him on the
He began to speak in a quiet tone.
— Adam and Eve, my dear boys, were, as you know,
our first parents, and you will remember that they were
created by God in order that the seats in heaven left
vacant by the fall of Lucifer and his rebellious angels
might be filled again. Lucifer, we are told, was a son
of the morning, a radiant and mighty angel ; yet he fell :
he fell and there fell with him a third part of the host
of heaven: he fell and was hurled with his rebellious
angels into hell. What his sin was we cannot say.
Theologians consider that it was the sin of pride, the
sinful thought conceived in an instant: non serviam: I
will not serve. That instant was his ruin. He offended
the majesty of God by the sinful thought of one instant
and God cast him out of heaven into hell for ever.
— Adam and Eve were then created by God and placed
in Eden, in the plain of Damascus, that lovely garden
resplendent with sunlight and colour, teeming with
luxuriant vegetation. The fruitful earth gave them her
bounty: beasts and birds were their willing servants:
they knew not the ills our flesh is heir to, disease and
poverty and death: all that a great and generous God
could do for them was done. But there was one con-
dition imposed on them by God : obedience to His word.
They were not to eat of the fruit of the forbidden
— Alas, my dear little boys, they too fell. The devil,
once a shining angel, a son of the morning, now a foul
fiend came in the shape of a serpent, the subtlest of all
the beasts of the field. He envied them. He, the fallen
great one, could not bear to think that man, a being
of clay, should possess the inheritance which he by his
sin had forfeited for ever. He came to the woman, the
weaker vessel, and poured the poison of his eloquence
into her ear, promising her — 0, the blasphemy of that
promise ! — that if she and Adam ate of the forbidden
fruit they would become as gods, nay as God Himself.
Eve yielded to the wiles of the arch tempter. She ate
the apple and gave it also to Adam who had not the
moral courag'e to resist her. The poison tongue of Satan
had done its work. They fell.
— And then the voice of God was heard in that garden,
calling His creature man to account : and Michael, prince
of the heavenly host, with a sword of flame in his hand,
appeared before the guilty pair and drove them forth
from Eden into the world, the world of sickness and
striving, of cruelty and disappointment, of labour and
hardship, to earn their bread in the sweat of their brow.
But even then how merciful was God ! He took pity on
our poor degraded parents and promised that in the
fulness of time He would send down from heaven One
who would redeem them, make them once more children
of God and heirs to the kingdom of heaven: and that
One, that Redeemer of fallen man, was to be God's only-
begotten Son, the Second Person of the Most Blessed
Trinity, the Eternal Word.
— He came. He was born of a virgin pure, ^lary the
virgin mother. He was bom in a poor cowhouse in
Judea and lived as a humble carpenter for thirty years
until the hour of his mission had come. And then, filled
with love for men, He went forth and called to men to
hear the new gospel.
— Did they listen 1 Yes, they listened but would not
hear. He was seized and bound like a common criminal,
mocked at as a fool, set aside to give place to a public
robber, scourged with five thousand lashes, crowned
with a crown of thorns, hustled through the streets by
the Jewish rabble and the Roman soldiery, stripped of
his garments and hanged upon a gibbet and His side
was pierced with a lance and from the wounded body of
our Lord water and blood issued continually.
— Yet even then, in that hour of supreme agony, Our
Merciful Redeemer had pity for mankind. Yet even
there, on the hill of Calvary, He founded the Holy
Catholic Church against which, it is promised, the gates
of hell shall not prevail. He founded it upon the rock
of ages and endowed it with His grace, with sacraments
and sacrifice, and promised that if men would obey the
word of His Church they would still enter into eternal
life, but if, after all that had been done for them, they
still persisted in their wickedness there remained for
them an eternity of torment : hell.
The preacher's voice sank. He paused, joined his
palms for an instant, parted them. Then he resumed :
— Now let us try for a moment to realise, as far as we
can, the nature of that abode of the damned which the
justice of an offended God has called into existence for
the eternal punishment of sinners. Hell is a strait and
dark and foul smelling prison, an abode of demons and
lost souls, filled with fire and smoke. The straitness of
this prison house is expressly designed by God to punish
those who refused to be bound by His laws. In earthly
prisons the poor captive has at least some liberty of
movement, were it only within the four walls of his cell
or in the gloomy yard of his prison. Not so in hell.
There, by reason of the great number of the damned, the
prisoners are heaped together in their awful prison, the
walls of which are said to be four thousand miles thick :
and the damned are so utterly bound and helpless that,
as a blessed saint. Saint Anselm, writes in his book on
Similitudes, they are not even able to remove from the
eye a worm that gnaws it.
— They lie in exterior darkness. For, remember, the
fire of hell gives forth no light. As, at the command of
God, the fire of the Babylonian furnace lost its heat but
not its light so, at the command of God, the fire of hell,
while retaining the intensity of its heat, bums eternally
in darkness. It is a neverending storm of darkness, dark
flames and dark smoke of burning brimstone, amid which
the bodies are heaped one upon another without even
a glimpse of air. Of all the plagues with which the land
of the Pharaohs was smitten one plague alone, that of
darkness, was called horrible. What name, then, shall
we give to the darkness of hell which is to last not for
three days alone but for all eternity ?
— The horror of this strait and dark prison is increased
by its awful stench. All the filth of the world, all the
offal and scum of the world, we are told, shall run there
as to a vast reeking sewer when the terrible conflagration
of the last day has purged the world. The brimstone,
too, which burns there in such prodigious quantity fills
all hell with its intolerable stench ; and the bodies of the
damned themselves exhale such a pestilential odour that
as Saint Bonaventure says, one of them alone would
suffice to infect the whole world. The very air of this
world, that pure element, becomes foul and unbreathable
when it has been long enclosed. Consider then what
must be the foulness of the air of hell. Imagine some
foul and putrid corpse that has lain rotting and decom-
posing in the grave, a jellylike mass of liquid corrup-
tion. Imagine such a corpse a prey to flames, devoured
by the fire of burning brimstone and giving off dense
choking fumes of nauseous loathsome decomposition.
And then imagine this sickening stench, multiplied a
millionfolcl ^4 a millionfold again from, the millions
upon millions of fetid carcasses massed together in the
reeking darkness, a huge and rotting human fungus.
Imagine all this and you will have some idea of the horror
of the stench of hell.
— But this stench is not, horrible though it is, the great-
est physical torment to which the damned are subjected.
The torment of fire is the greatest torment to which the
tyrant has ever subjected his fellow creatures. Place
your finger for a moment in the flame of a candle and you
will feel the pain of fire. But our earthly fire was created
by God for the benefit of man, to maintain in him the
spark of life and to help him in the useful arts whereas
the fire of hell is of another quality and was created by
God to torture and punish the unrepentant sinner. Gur
earthly fire also consumes more or less rapidly according
as the object which it attacks is more or less combustible
so that human ingenuity has even succeeded in inventing
chemical preparations to check or frustrate its action.
But the sulphurous brimstone which burns in hell is a
substance which is specially designed to burn for ever
and for ever with unspeakable fury. Moreover our
earthly fire destroys at the same time as it burns so that
the more intense it is the shorter is its duration : but the
fire of hell has this property that it preserves that which
it burns and though it rages with incredible intensity it
rages for ever.
— Gur earthly fire again, no matter how fierce or wide-
spread it may be, is always of a limited extent : but the
lake of fire in hell is boundless, shoreless and bottomless.
It is on record that the devil himself, when asked the
question by a certain soldier, was obliged to confess that
if a whole mountain were thrown into the burning ocean
of hell it would be burned up in an instant like a piece
of wax. And this terrible fire will not afflict the bodies
of the damned only from without but each lost soul will
be a hell unto itself, the boundless fire raging in its very-
vitals. 0, how terrible is the lot of those wretched
beings! The blood seethes and boils in the veins, the
brains are boiling in the skull, the heart in the breast
glowing and bursting, the bowels a redhot mass of burn-
ing pulp, the tender eyes flaming like molten balls.
— - And yet what I have said as to the strength and qual-
ity and boundlessness of this fire is as nothing when com-
pared to its intensity, an intensity which it has as being
the instrument chosen by divine design for the punish-
ment of soul and body alike. It is a fire which proceeds
directly from the ire of God, working not of its own
activity but as an instrument of divine vengeance. As
the waters of baptism cleanse the soul with the body so
do the fires of punishment torture the spirit with the
flesh. Every sense of the flesh is tortured and every
faculty of the soul therewith : the eyes with impenetrable
utter darkness, the nose with noisome odours, the ears
with yells and howls and execrations, the taste with
foul matter, leprous corruption, nameless suffocating
filth, the touch with redhot goads and spikes, with cruel
tongues of flame. And through the several torments of
the senses the immortal soul is tortured eternally in its
very essence amid the leagues upon leagues of glowing
fires kindled in the abyss by the offended majesty of the
Omnipotent God and fanned into everlasting and ever
increasing fury by the breath of the anger of the God-
— Consider finally that the torment of this infernal
prison is increased by the company of the damned them-
selves. Evil company on earth is so noxious that the
plants, as if by instinct, withdraw from the company of
whatsoever is deadly or hurtful to them. In hell all laws
are overturned — there is no thought of family or coun-
try, of ties, of relationships. The damned howl and
scream at one another, their torture and rage intensified
by the presence of beings tortured and raging like them-
selves. All sense of humanity is forgotten. The yells of
the suffering sinners fill the remotest corners of the vast
abyss. The mouths of the damned are full of blasphemies
against God and of hatred for their fellow sufferers and
of curses against those souls which were their accomplices
in sin. In olden times it was the custom to punish the
parricide, the man who had raised his murderous hand
against his father, by casting him into the depths of the
sea in a sack in which were placed a cock, a monkey and a
serpent. The intention of those law-givers who framed
such a law, which seems cruel in our times, was to punish
the criminal by the company of hurtful and hateful
beasts. But what is the fury of those dumb beasts com-
pared with the fury of execration which bursts from the
parched lips and aching throats of the damned in hell
when they behold in their companions in misery those
who aided and abetted them in sin, those whose words
sowed the first seeds of evil thinking and evil living in
their minds, those whose immodest suggestions led them
on to sin, those whose eyes tempted and allured them
from the path of virtue. They turn upon those accom-
plices and upbraid them and curse them. But they are
helpless and hopeless : it is too late now for repentance.
— Last of all consider the frightful torment to those
damned souls, tempters and tempted alike, of the com-
pany of the devils. These devils will afflict the damned
in two ways, by their presence and by their reproaches.
We can have no idea of how horrible these devils are.
Saint Catherine of Siena once saw a devil, and she has
written that, rather than look again for one single in-
stant on such a frightful monster, she would prefer to
walk until the end of her life along a track of red coals.
These devils, who were once beautiful angels, have be-
come as hideous and ugly as they once were beautiful.
They mock and jeer at the lost souls whom they
dragged down to ruin. It is they, the foul demons, who
are made in hell the voices of conscience. Why did you
sin? Why did you lend an ear to the temptings of
friends? Why did you turn aside from your pious
practices and good works? Why did you not shun the
occasions of sin? Why did you not leave that evil
companion ? Why did you not give up that lewd habit,
that impure habit? Why did you not listen to the
counsels of your confessor ? Why did you not, even after
you had fallen the first or the second or the third or the
fourth or the hundredth time, repent of your evil ways
and turn to God who only waited for your repentance to
absolve you of your sins ? Now the time for repentance
has gone by. Time is, time was, but time shall be no
more! Time was to sin in secrecy, to indulge in that
sloth and pride, to covet the unlawful, to yield to the
promptings of your lower nature, to live like the beasts
of the field, nay worse than the beasts of the field for
they, at least, are but brutes and have not reason to
guide them: time was but time shall be no more. God
spoke to you by so many voices but you would not hear.
You would not crush out that pride and anger in your
heart, you would not restore those ill-gotten goods, you
would not obey the precepts of your holy church nor
attend to your religious duties, you would not abandon
those wicked companions, you would not avoid tliose
dangerous temptations. Such is the language of those
fiendish tormentors, words of taunting and of reproach,
of hatred and of disgust. Of disgust, Yes! For even
they, the very devils, when they sinned, sinned by such a
sin as alone was compatible with such angelical natures, a
rebellion of the intellect: and they, even they, the foul
devils must turn away, revolted and disgusted, from the
contemplation of those unspeakable sins by which de-
graded man outrages and defiles the temple of the Holy
Ghost, defiles and pollutes himself.
— 0, my dear little brothers in Christ, may it never be
our lot to hear that language ! May it never be our lot,
I say! In the last day of terrible reckoning I pray
fervently to God that not a single soul of those who are
in this chapel today may be found among those miser-
able beings whom the Great Judge shall command to
depart for ever from His sight, that not one of us may
ever hear ringing in his ears the awful sentence of re-
jection : Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire
which was prepared for the devil and his angels! —
He came down the aisle of the chapel, his legs shaking
and the scalp of his head trembling as though it had
been touched by ghostly fingers. He passed up the stair-
case and into the corridor along the walls of which the
overcoats and waterproofs hung like gibbeted male-
factors, headless and dripping and shapeless. And at
every step he feared that he had already died, that his
soul had been wrenched forth of the sheath of his body,
that he was plunging headlong through space.
He could not grip the floor with his feet and sat
heavily at his desk, opening one of his books at random
and poring over it. Every word for him ! It was true.
God was almighty. God could call him now, call him as
he sat at his desk, before he had time to be conscious of
the summons. God had called him. Yes? What?
Yes ? His flesh shrank together as it felt the approach of
the ravenous tongues of flames, dried up as it felt about
it the swirl of stifling air. He had died. Yes. He was
judged. A wave of fire swept through his body : the first.
Again a wave. His brain began to glow. Another. His
brain was simmering and bubbling within the cracking
tenement of the skull. Flames burst forth from his skull
like a corolla, shrieking like voices :
— Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell! —
Voices spoke near him :"
— On hell.—
— I suppose he rubbed it into you well. —
— You bet he did. He put us all into a blue funk. —
— That 's what you fellows want : and plenty of it to
make you work. —
He leaned back weakly in his desk. He had not died.
God had spared him still. He was still in the familiar
world of the school. Mr Tate and Vincent Heron stood
at the window, talking, jesting, gazing out at the bleak
rain, moving their heads.
— I wish it would clear up. I had arranged to go for
a spin on the bike with some fellows out by Malahide.
But the roads must be kneedeep. —
— It might clear up, sir. —
The voices that he knew so well; the common words,
the quiet of the classroom when the voices paused and
the silence was filled by the sound of softly browsing
cattle as the other boys munched their lunches tranquilly
lulled his aching soul.
There was still time. O Mary, refuge of sinners, in-
tercede for him! Virgin Undefiled, save him from
the gulf of death !
The English lesson began with the hearing of the
history. Royal persons, favourites, intriguers, bishops,
passed like mute phantoms behind their veil of names.
All had died : all had been judged. What did it profit a
man to gain the whole world if he lost his soul ? At last
he had understood: and human life lay around him, a
plain of peace whereon antlike men laboured in brother-
hood, their dead sleeping under quiet mounds. The
elbow of his companion touched him and his heart was
touched : and when he spoke to answer a question of his
master he heard his own voice full of the quietude of
humility and contrition.
His soul sank back deeper into depths of contrite
peace, no longer able to suffer the pain of dread, and
sending forth, as she sank, a faint prayer. Ah yes, he
would still be spared ; he would repent in his heart and
be forgiven; and then those above, those in heaven,
would see what he would do to make up for the past : a
whole life, every hour of life. Only wait.
— All, God! All, all! —
A messenger came to the door to say that confessions
were being heard in the chapel. Four boys left the
room; and he heard others passing down the corridor.
A tremulous chill blew round his heart, no stronger than
a little wind, and yet, listening and suffering silently, he
seemed to have laid an ear against the muscle of his own
heart, feeling it close and quail, listening to the flutter
of its ventricles.
No escape. He had to confess, to speak out in words
what he had done and thought, sin after sin. How?
— Father, I . . .—
The thought slid like a cold shining rapier Into his
tender flesh : confession. But not there in the chapel of
the college. lie would confess all, every sin of deed
and thought, sincerely: but not there among his school
companions. Far away from there in some dark place
he would murmur out his own shame : and he besought
God humbly not to be offended with him if he did not
dare to confess in the college chapel : and in utter abjec-
tion of spirit he craved forgiveness mutely of the boyish,
hearts about him.
He sat again in the front bench of the chapel. The
daylight without was already failing and, as it fell
slowly through the dull red blinds, it seemed that the sun
of the last day was going down and that all souls were
being gathered for the judgment.
— / am cast away from the sight of Thine eyes: words
taken, my dear little brothers in Christ, from the Book
of Psalms, thirtieth chapter, twenty-third verse. In the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
The preacher began to speak in a quiet friendly tone.
His face was kind and he joined gently the fingers of
each hand, forming a frail cage by the union of their
— This morning we endeavoured, in our reflection
upon hell, to make what our holy founder calls in his
book of spiritual exercises, the composition of place.
We endeavoured, that is, to imagine with the senses of
the mind, in our imagination, the material character of
that awful place and of the physical torments which all
who are in hell endure. This evening we shall consider
for a few moments the nature of the spiritual torments
— Sin, remember, is a twofold enormity. It is a base
consent to the promptings of our corrupt nature to the
lower instincts, to that which is gross and beastlike;
and it is also a turning away from the counsel of our
higher nature, from all that is pure and holy, from the
Holy God Himself. For this reason mortal sin is
punished in hell by two different forms of punishment,
physical and spiritual.
Now of all these spiritual pains by far the greatest
is the pain of loss, so great, in fact, that in itself it is
a torment greater than all the others. Saint Thomas,
the greatest doctor of the Church, the angelic doctor, as
he is called, says that the worst damnation consists in
this that the understanding of man is totally deprived
of Divine light and his affection obstinately turned
away from the goodness of God. God, remember, is a
being infinitely good and therefore the loss of such a
being must be a loss infinitely painful. In this life we
have not a very clear idea of what such a loss must be
but the damned in hell, for their greater torment, have
a full understanding of that which they have lost and
understand that they have lost it through their own sins
and have lost it for ever. At the very instant of death
the bonds of the flesh are broken asunder and the soul
at once flies towards God as towards the centre of her
existence. Remember, my dear little boys, our souls
long to be with God. We come from God, we live by
God, we belong to God: we are His, inalienably His.
God loves with a divine love every human soul and
every human soul lives in that love. How could it be
otherwise? Every breath that we draw, every thought
of our brain, every instant of life proceed from God's
inexhaustible goodness. And if it be pain for a mother
to be parted from her child, for a man to be exiled from
hearth and home, for friend to be sundered from friend,
think what pain, what anguish, it must be for the
poor soul to be spurned from the presence of the
supremely good and loving Creator Who has called that
soul into existence from nothingness and sustained it
in life and loved it with an immeasurable love. This,
then, to be separated for ever from its greatest good,
from God, and to feel the anguish of that separation,
knowing full well that it is unchangeable, this is the
greatest torment which the created soul is capable of
bearing, p(£na damni, the pain of loss.
The second pain which will afflict the souls of the
damned in hell is the pain of conscience. Just as in dead
bodies worms are engendered by putrefaction so in the
souls of the lost there arises a perpetual remorse from
the putrefaction of sin, the sting of conscience, the
worm, as Pope Innocent the Third calls it, of the triple
sting. The first sting inflicted by this cruel worm will
be the memory of past pleasures. what a dreadful
memory will that be ! In the lake of alldevouring flame
the proud king will remember the pomps of his court,
the wise but wicked man his libraries and instruments
of research, the lover of artistic pleasures his marbles
and pictures and other art treasures, he who delighted
in the pleasures of the table his gorgeous feasts, his
dishes prepared with such delicacy, his choice wines, the
miser will remember his hoard of gold, the robber his
illgotten wealth, the angry and revengeful and merciless
murderers their deeds of blood and violence in which they
revelled, the impure and adulterous the unspeakable
and filthy pleasures in which they delighted. They will
remember all this and loathe themselves and their sins.
For how miserable will all those pleasures seem to the
soul condemned to suffer in hell-fire for ages and ages.
How they will rage and fume to think that they have
lost the bliss of heaven for the dross of earth, for a few
pieces of metal, for vain honours, for bodily comforts,
for a tingling of the nerves. They will repent indeed:
and this is the second sting of the worm of conscience,
a late and fruitless sorrow for sins committed. Divine
justice insists that the understanding of those miserable
wretches be fixed continually on the sins of which they
were guilty and moreover, as Saint Augustine points out,
God will impart to them His own knowledge of sin so
that sin will appear to them in all its hideous malice as
it appears to the eyes of God Himself. They will be-
hold their sins in all their foulness and repent but it
will be too late and then they will bewail the good oc-
casions which they neglected. This is the last and deep-
est and most cruel sting of the worm of conscience. The
conscience will say: You had time and opportunity to
repent and would not. You were brought up religiously
by your parents. You had the sacraments and graces
and indulgences of the church to aid you. You had the
minister of God to preach to you to call you back when
you had strayed, to forgive you your sins, no matter how
many, how abominable, if only you had confessed and
repented. No. You would not. You flouted the min-
isters of holy religion, you turned your back on the con-
fessional, you wallowed deeper and deeper in the mire of
sin. God appealed to you, threatened you, entreated you
to return to him. O, what shame, what misery! The
Ruler of the universe entreated you, a creature of clay,
to love Him "WTio made you and to keep Ilis law. No.
You would not. And now, though you were to flood all
hell with your tears if you could still weep, all that sea
of repentance would not gain for you what a single tear
of true repentance shed during your mortal life would
have gained for you. You implore now a moment of
earthly life wherein to repent: in vain. That time is
gone : gone for ever.
— Such is the threefold sting of conscience, the viper
which gnaws the very heart's core of the wretches in
hell so that filled with hellish fury they curse themselves
for their folly and curse the evil companions who have
brought them to such ruin and curse the devils who
tempted them in life and now mock them in eternity
and even revile and curse the Supreme Being Whose
goodness and patience they scorned and slighted but
Whose justice and power they cannot evade.
— The next spiritual pain to which the damned are
subjected is the pain of extension. Man, in this earthly
life, though he be capable of many evils, is not capable
of them all at once inasmuch as one evil corrects and
counteracts another, just as one poison frequently cor-
rects another. In hell, on the contrary, one torment,
instead of counteracting another, lends it still greater
force: and, moreover, as the internal faculties are more
perfect than the external senses, so are they more
capable of suffering. Just as every sense is afflicted with
a fitting torment so is every spiritual faculty; the
fancy with horrible images, the sensitive faculty with
alternate longing and rage, the mind and understanding
with an interior darkness more terrible even than the
exterior darkness which reigns in that dreadful prison.
The malice, impotent though it be, which possesses
these demon souls is an evil of boundless extension, of
limitless duration, a frightful state of wickedness which
we can scarcely realise unless we bear in mind the
enormity of sin and the hatred God bears to it.
— Opposed to this pain of extension and yet co-exist-
ent with it we have the pain of intensity. Hell is the cen-
tre of evils and, as you know, things are more intense at
their centres than at their remotest points. There are
no contraries or admixtures of any kind to temper or
soften in the least the pains of hell. Nay, things which
are good in themselves become evil in hell. Company,
elsewhere a source of comfort to the afflicted, will be
there a continual torment: knowledge, so much longed
for as the chief good of the intellect, will there be hated
worse than ignorance: light, so much coveted by all
creatures from the lord of creation down to the humblest
plant in the forest, will be loathed intensely. In this
life our sorrows are either not very long or not very
great because nature either overcomes them by habits
or puts an end to them by sinking under their weight.
But in hell the torments cannot be overcome by habit,
for while they are of terrible intensity they are at the
same time of continual variety, each pain, so to speak,
taking fire from another and re-endowing that which
has enkindled it with a still fiercer flame. Nor can
nature escape from these intense and various tortures
by succumbing to them for the soul is sustained and
maintained in evil so that its suffering may be the
greater. Boundless extension of torment, incredible in-
tensity of suffering, unceasing variety of torture — this
is what the divine majesty, so outraged by sinners,
demands, this is what the holiness of heaven, slighted
and set aside for the lustful and low pleasures of the
corrupt flesh, requires, this is what the blood of the
innocent Lamb of God, shed for the redemption of sin-
ners, trampled upon by the vilest of the vile, insists
— Last and crowning torture of all the tortures of that
awful place is the eternity of hell. Eternity ! O, dread
and dire word. Eternity! "What mind of man can
understand it? And remember, it is an eternity of
pain. Even though the pains of hell were not so ter-
rible as they are yet they would become infinite as they
are destined to last for ever. But while they are ever-
lasting they are at the same time, as you know, in-
tolerably intense, unbearably extensive. To bear even
the sting of an insect for all eternity would be a dread-
ful torment. What must it be, then, to bear the mani-
fold tortures of hell for ever? For ever! For all
eternity! Not for a year or for an age but for ever.
Try to imagine the awful meaning of this. You have
often seen the sand on the seashore. How fine are its
tiny grains! And how many of those tiny little grains
go to make up the small handful which a child grasps
in its play. Now imagine a mountain of that sand, a
million miles high, reaching from the earth to the
farthest heavens, and a million miles broad, extending
to remotest space, and a million miles in thickness : and
imagine such an enormous mass of countless particles
of sand multiplied as often as there are leaves in the
forest, drops of water in the mighty ocean, feathers on
birds, scales on fish, hairs on animals, atoms in the
vast expanse of the air : and imagine that at the end of
every million years a little bird came to that mountain
and carried away in its beak a tiny grain of that sand.
How many millions upon millions of centuries would
pass before tliat bird had carried away even a square
foot of that mountain, how many eons upon eons of
ages before it had carried away all. Yet at the end of
that immense stretch of time not even one instant of
eternity could be said to have ended. At the end of
all those billions and trillions of years eternity would
have scarcely begun. And if that mountain rose again
after it had been all carried away and if the bird came
again and carried it all away again grain by grain:
and if it so rose and sank as many times as there are
stars in the sky, atoms in the air, drops of water in the
sea, leaves on the trees, feathers upon birds, scales
upon fish, hairs upon animals, at the end of all those
innumerable risings and sinkings of that immeasur-
ably vast mountain not one single instant of eternity
could be said to have ended; even then, at the end of
such a period, after that eon of time the mere thought
of which makes our very brain reel dizzily, eternity
would have scarcely begun.
— A holy saint (one of our own fathers I believe it
was) was once vouchsafed a vision of hell. It seemed
to him that he stood in the midst of a great hall, dark
and silent save for the ticking of a great clock. The
ticking went on unceasingly; and it seemed to this
saint that the sound of the ticking was the ceaseless
repetition of the words : ever, never ; ever, never. Ever
to be in hell, never to be in heaven ; ever to be shut off
from the presence of God, never to enjoy the beatific
vision ; ever to be eaten with flames, gnawed by vermin,
goaded with burning spikes, never to be free from those
pains ; ever to have the conscience upbraid one, the mem-
ory enrage, the mind filled with darkness and despair,
never to escape; ever to curse and revile the foul de-
mons who gloat fiendishly over the misery of their dupes,
never to behold the shining raiment of the blessed
spirits; ever to cry out of the abyss of fire to God for
an instant, a single instant, of respite from such awful
agony, never to receive, even for an instant, God's par-
don ; ever to suffer, never to enjoy ; ever to be damned,
never to be saved ; ever, never ; ever, never. O, what a
dreadful punishment ! An eternity of endless agony, of
endless bodily and spiritual torment, without one ray of
hope, without one moment of cessation, of agony limit-
less in intensity, of torment infinitely varied, of torture
that sustains eternally that which it eternally devours,
of anguish that everlastingly preys upon the spirit while
it racks the flesh, an eternity, every instant of which is
itself an eternity of woe. Such is the terrible punish-
ment decreed for those who die in mortal sin by an al-
mighty and a just God.
— .Yes, a just God! Men, reasoning always as men,
are astonished that God should mete out an everlasting
and infinite punishment in the fires of hell for a single
grievous sin. They reason thus because, blinded by the
gross illusion of the flesh and the darkness of human
understanding they are unable to comprehend the hide-
ous malice of mortal sin. They reason thus because they
are unable to comprehend that even venial sin is of such
a foul and hideous nature that even if the omnipotent
Creator could end all the evil and misery in the world
the wars, the diseases, the robberies, the crime, the
deaths, the murders, on condition that he allowed a sin-
gle venial sin to pass unpunished, a single venial sin,
a lie, an angry look, a moment of wilful sloth. He, the
great omnipotent God could not do so because sin, be it
in thought or deed, is a transgression of His law and
God would not be God if He did not punish the trans-
— A sin, an instant of rebellious pride of the intellect,
made Lucifer and a third part of the cohorts of angels
fall from their glory. A sin, an instant of folly and
weakness, drove Adam and Eve out of Eden and
brought death and suffering into the world. To retrieve
the consequences of that sin the Only Begotten Son of
God came down to earth, lived and suffered and died a
most painful death, hanging for three hours on the cross.
— 0, my dear little brethren in Christ Jesus, will we
then offend that good Redeemer and provoke His an-
ger? Will we trample again upon that torn and man-
gled corpse? Will we spit upon that face so full of
sorrow and love? Will we too, like the cruel Jews and
the brutal soldiers, mock that gentle and compassionate
Saviour Who trod alone for our sake the awful winepress
of sorrow ? Every word of sin is a wound in His tender
side. Every sinful act is a thorn piercing His head.
Every impure thought, deliberately yielded to, is a keen
lance transfixing that sacred and loving heart. No, no.
It is impossible for any human being to do that which
offends so deeply the divine Majesty, that which is pun-
ished by an eternity of agony, that which crucifies again
the Son of God and makes a mockery of Him.
— I pray to God that my poor words may have availed
today to confirm in holiness those who are in a state
of grace, to strengthen the wavering, to lead back to
the state of grace the poor soul that has strayed if any
such be among you. I pray to God, and do you pray
with me, that we may repent of our sins. I will ask
you now, all of you, to repeat after me the act of con-
trition, kneeling here in this humble chapel in the pre-
sence of God. He is there in the tabernacle burning
with love for mankind, ready to comfort the afflicted.
Be not afraid. No matter how many or how foul the
sins if only you repent of them they will be forgiven
you. Let no worldly shame hold you back. God is
still the merciful Lord who wishes not the eternal death
of the sinner but rather that he be converted and
— He calls you to Him. You are His. He made you
out of nothing. He loved you as only a God can love.
His arms are open to receive you even though you have
sinned against Him. Come to Him, poor sinner, poor
vain and erring sinner. Now is the acceptable time.
Now is the hour.
The priest rose and turning towards the altar knelt
upon the step before the tabernacle in the fallen gloom.
He waited till all in the chapel had knelt and every least
noise was still. Then, raising his head, he repeated the
act of contrition, phrase by phrase, with fervour. The
boys answered him phrase by phrase. Stephen, his
tongue cleaving to his palate, bowed his head, praying
with his heart.
— my God! —
— my God! —
— / am heartily sorry —
— 7 am heartily sorry —
— for having offended Thee —
— for having offended Thee —
— and I detest my sins —
— aiid I detest my sins —
— above every other evil —
— above every other evil —
— because they displease Thee, my God —
— because they displease Thee, my God — ■
— Who art so deserving —
— Who art so deserving —
— of all my love —
— of all my love —
— and I firmly purpose — •
— and I firmly purpose —
— by Thy Holy grace —
— by Thy Holy grace —
— never more to offend Thee —
— never more to offend Thee —
• — and to amend my life —
■ — and to amend my life —
* * # *
He went up to his room after dinner in order to be
alone with his soul: and at every step his soul seemed
to sigh: at every step his soul mounted with his feet,
sighing in the ascent, through a region of viscid gloom.
He halted on the landing before the door and then,
grasping the porcelain knob, opened the door quickly.
He waited in fear, his soul pining within him, praying
silently that death might not touch his brow as he
passed over the threshold, that the fiends that inhabit
darkness might not be given power over him. He
waited still at the threshold as at the entrance to some
dark cave. Faces were there; eyes: they waited and
— We knew perfectly well of course that although it
was bound to come to the light he would find consider-
able difficulty in endeavouring to try to induce himself
to try to endeavour to ascertain the spiritual plenipo-
tentiary and so we knew of course perfectly well —
Murmuring faces waited and watched; munnurous
voices filled the dark shell of the cave. He feared in-
tensely in spirit and in flesh but, raising his head bravely,
he strode into the room firmly. A doorway, a room, the
same room, same window. He told himself calmly that
those words had absolutely no sense which had seemed
to rise murmurously from the dark. He told himself
that it was simply his room with the door open.
He closed the door and, walking swiftly to the bed,
knelt beside it and covered his face with his hands.
His hands were cold and damp and his limbs ached
with chill. Bodily unrest and chill and weariness beset
him, routing his thoughts. Why was he kneeling there
like a child saying his evening prayers? To be alone
with his soul, to examine his conscience, to meet his sins
face to face, to recall their times and manners and
circumstiuices, to weep over them. He could not weep.
He could not summon them to his memory. He felt
only an ache of soul and body, his whole being, memory,
will, understanding, flesh, benumbed and weary.
That was the work of devils, to scatter his thoughts
and overcloud his conscience, assailing him at the gates
of the cowardly and sin corrupted flesh: and, praying
God timidly to forgive him his weakness, he crawled
up on to the bed and, wrapping the blankets closely
about him, covered his face again with his hands. He
had sinned. He had sinned so deeply against heaven
and before God that he was not worthy to be called God's
Could it be that he, Stephen Dedalus, had done those
things? His conscience sighed in answer. Yes, he had
done them, secretly, filthily, time after time and, hard-
ened in sinful impenitence, he had dared to wear the
mask of holiness before the tabernacle itself while his
soul within was a living mass of corruption. How came
it that God had not struck him dead ? The leprous com-
pany of his sins closed about him, breathing upon him,
bending over him from all sides. He strove to forget
them in an act of prayer, huddling his limbs closer to-
gether and binding down his eyelids: but the senses of
his soul would not be bound and, though his eyes were
shut fast, he saw the places where he had sinned and,
though his ears were tightly covered, he heard. He de-
sired with all his will not to hear nor see. He desired
till his frame shook under the strain of his desire and
untH the senses of his soul closed. They closed for an
instant and then opened. He saw.
A field of stiff weeds and thistles and tufted nettle-
bunches. Thick among the tufts of rank stiff growth
lay battered canisters and clots and coils of solid excre-
ment. A faint marsh light struggling upwards from
all the ordure through the bristling grey green weeds.
An evil smell, faint and foul as the light, curled up-
wards sluggishly out of the canisters and from the stale
Creatures were in the field ; one, three, six : creatures
were moving in the field, hither and thither. Goatish
creatures with human faces, homy browed, lightly
bearded and grey as indiarubber. The malice of evil
glittered in their hard eyes, as they moved hither and
thither, trailing their long tails behind them. A rictus
of cruel malignity lit up greyly their old bony faces.
One was clasping about his ribs a torn flannel waist-
coat, another complained monotonously as his beard
stuck in the tufted weeds. Soft language issued from
their spittleless lips as they swished in slow circles round
and round the field, winding hither and thither through
the weeds, dragging their long tails amid the rattling
canisters. They moved in slow circles, circling closer
and closer to enclose, to enclose, soft language issuing
from their lips, their long swishing tails besmeared with
stale shite, thrusting upwards their terrific faces . . .
He flung the blankets from him madly to free his face
and neck. That was his hell. God had allowed him to
see the hell reserved for his sins: stinking, bestial, ma-
lignant, a hell of lecherous goatish fiends. For him!
He sprang from the bed, the reeking odour pouring
down his throat, clogging and revolting his entrails.
Air! The air of heaven! He stumbled towards the
window, groaning and almost fainting with sickness.
At the washstand a convulsion seized him within; and,
clasping his cold forehead wildly, he vomited profusely
When the fit had spent itself he walked weakly to the
window and lifting the sash, sat in a comer of the
embrasure and leaned his elbow upon the sill. The
rain had drawn off ; and amid the moving vapours from
point to point of light the city was spinning about her-
self a soft cocoon of yellowish haze. Heaven was still
and faintly luminous and the air sweet to breathe, as
in a thicket drenched with showers: and amid peace
and shimmering lights and quiet fragrance he made a
covenant with his heart.
— He once had meant to come on earth in heavenly
glory hut we sinned: and then He could Tiot safely visit
us hut with a shrouded majesty and a hedimmed radi-
ance for He was God. So He came Himself in weakness
not in power and He sent thee, a creature in His stead,
with a creature* s comeliness and lustre suited to our
state. And now thy very face and form, dear mother,
speak to us of the Eternal; nx)t like earthly beauty, dan-
gerous to look upon, hut like the morning star which is
thy emblem, bright and musical, breathing purity, tell-
ing of heaven and infusing peace. harbinger of day!
O light of the pilgrim! Lead us still as thou hast led.
In the dark night, across the bleak unlderness guide us
on to our Lord Jesus, guide us home. —
His eyes were dimmed with tears and, looking humbly
up to heaven, he wept for the innocence he had lost.
When evening had fallen he left the house and the
first touch of the damp dark air and the noise of the
door as it closed behind him made ache again his con-
science, lulled by prayer and tears. Confess ! Confess !
It was not enough to lull the conscience with a tear and
a prayer. He had to kneel before the minister of the
Holy Ghost and tell over his hidden sins truly and
repentantly. Before he heard again the footboard of
the housedoor trail over the threshold as it opened to
let him in, before he saw again the table in the kitchen
set for supper he would have knelt and confessed. It
was quite simple.
The ache of conscience ceased and he walked onward
swiftly through the dark streets. There were so many
flagstones on the footpath of that street and so many
streets in that city and so many cities in the world.
Yet eternity had no end. He was in mortal sin. Even
once was a mortal sin. It could happen in an instant.
But how so quickly ? By seeing or by thinking of seeing.
The eyes see the thing, without having wished first to
see. Then in an instant it happens. But does that
part of the body understand or what? The serpent,
the most subtle beast of the field. It must understand
when it desires in one instant and then prolongs its own
desire instant after instant, sinfully. It feels and under-
stands and desires. What a horrible thing ! "Who made
it to be like that, a bestial part of the body able to
understand bestially and desire bestially? Was that
then he or an inhuman thing moved by a lower soul?
His soul sickened at the thought of a torpid snaky life
feeding itself out of the tender marrow of his life and
fattening upon the slime of lust. why was that so?
He cowered in the shadow of the thought abasing
himself in the awe of God Who had made all things
and all men. Madness. Who could think such a
thought? And, cowering in darkness and abject, he
prayed mutely to his angel guardian to drive away with
his sword the demon that was whispering to his brain.
The whisper ceased and he knew then clearly that his
own soul had sinned in thought and word and deed
wilfully through his own body. Confess! He had to
confess every sin. How could he utter in words to the
priest what he had done? Must, must. Or how could
he explain without dying of shame? Or how could he
have done such things without shame? A madman!
Confess! he would indeed to be free and sin-
less again! Perhaps the priest would know. dear
He walked on and on through ill-lit streets, fearing
to stand still for a moment lest it might seem that he
held back from what awaited him, fearing to arrive at
that towards which he still turned with longing. How
beautiful must be a soul in the state of grace when God
looked upon it with love !
Frowsy girls sat along the curbstones before their
baskets. Their dank hair hung trailed over their
brows. They were not beautiful to see as they crouched
in the mire. But their souls were seen by God ; and if
their souls were in a state of grace they were radiant to
see : and God loved them, seeing them.
A wasting breath of humiliation blew bleakly over
his soul to think of how he had fallen, to feel that those
souls were dearer to God than his. The wind blew over
him and passed on to the myriads and myriads of other
souls, on whom God's favour shone now more and now
less, stars now brighter and now dimmer, sustained and
failing. And the glimmering souls passed away, sus-
tained and failing, merged in a moving breath. One
soul was lost; a tiny soul; his. It flickered once and
went out, forgotten, lost. The end: black cold void
Consciousness of place came ebbing back to him
slowly over a vast tract of time unlit, unfelt, unlived.
The squalid scene composed itself around him; the
common accents, the burning gasjets in the shops,
odours of fish and spirits and wet sawdust, moving men
and women. An old woman was about to cross the
street, an oilcan in her hand. He bent down and asked
her was there a chapel near.
— A chapel, sir? Yes, sir. Church Street chapel. —
— Church ? —
She shifted the can to her other hand and directed
him; and, as she held out her reeking withered right
hand under its fringe of shawl, he bent lower towards
her, saddened and soothed by her voice.
— Thank you. —
— You are quite welcome, sir. —
The candles on the high altar had been extinguished
but the fragrance of incense still floated down the dim
nave. Bearded workmen with pious faces were guiding
a canopy out through a side door, the sacristan aiding
them with quiet gestures and words. A few of the
faithful still lingered praying before one of the side-
altars or kneeling in the benches near the confessionals.
He approached timidly and knelt at the last bench in
the body, thankful for the peace and silence and fragrant
shadow of the church. The board on which he knelt
was narrow and worn and those who knelt near him
were humble followers of Jesus. Jesus too had been
born in poverty and had worked in the shop of a car-
penter, cutting boards and planing them, and had first
spoken of the kingdom of God to poor fishermen, teach-
ing all men to be meek and humble of heart.
He bowed his head upon his hands, bidding his heart
be meek and humble that he might be like those who
knelt beside him and his prayer as acceptable as theirs.
He prayed beside them but it was hard. His soul was
foul with sin and he dared not ask forgiveness with the
simple trust of those whom Jesus, in the mysterious
ways of God, had called first to His side, the carpenters,
the fishermen, poor and simple people following a lowly
trade, handling and shaping the wood of trees, mending
their nets with patience.
A tall figure came down the aisle and the penitents
stirred: and, at the last moment glancing up swiftly,
he saw a long grey beard and the brown habit of a
capuchin. The priest entered the box and was hidden.
Two penitents rose and entered the confessional at
either side. The wooden slide was drawn back and the
faint murmur of a voice troubled the silence.
His blood began to murmur in his veins, murmuring
like a sinful city summoned from its sleep to bear its
doom. Little flakes of fire fell and powdery ashes fell
softly, alighting on the houses of men. They stirred,
waking from sleep, troubled by the heated air.
The slide was shot back. The penitent emerged from
the side of the box. The farther side was drawn. A
woman entered quietly and deftly where the first peni-
tent had knelt. The faint murmur began again.
He could still leave the chapel. He could stand up,
put one foot before the other and walk out softly and
then run, run, run swiftly through the dark streets.
He could still escape from the shame. Had it been any
terrible crime but that one sin! Had it been murder!
Little fiery flakes fell and touched him at all points,
shameful thoughts, shameful words, shameful acts.
Shame covered him wholly like fine glowing ashes fall-
ing continually. To say it in words ! His soul, stifling
and helpless, would cease to be.
The slide was shot back. A penitent emerged from
the farther side of the box. The near slide was drawn.
A penitent entered where the other penitent had come
out. A soft whispering noise floated in vaporous cloud-
lets out of the box. It was the woman : soft whispering
cloudlets, soft whispering vapour, whispering and vanish-
He beat his breast with his fist humbly, secretly under
cover of the wooden armrest. He would be at one with
others and with God. He would love his neighbour.
He would love God Who had made and loved him. He
would kneel and pray with others and be happy. God
would look down on him and on them and would love
It was easy to be good. God's yoke was sweet and
light. It was better never to have sinned, to have re-
mained always a child, for God loved little children and
suffered them to come to Him. It was a terrible and
a sad thing to sin. But God was merciful to poor
sinners who were truly sorry. How true that was!
That was indeed goodness.
The slide was shot to suddenly. The penitent came
out. He was next. He stood up in terror and walked
blindly into the box.
At last it had come. He knelt in the silent gloom
and raised his eyes to the white crucifix suspended above
him. God could see that he was sorry. He would tell
all his sins. His confession would be long, long.
Everybody in the chapel would know then what a sinner
he had been. Let them know. It was true. But God
had promised to forgive him if he was sorry. He was
sorry. He clasped his hands and raised them towards
the white form, praying with his darkened eyes, praying
with all his trembling body, swaying his head to and
fro like a lost creature, praying with whimpering lips.
— Sorry ! Sorry ! sorry ! —
The slide clicked back and his heart bounded in his
breast. The face of an old priest was at the grating,
averted from him, leaning upon a hand. He made the
sign of the cross and prayed of the priest to bless him
for he had sinned. Then, bowing his head, he repeated
the Confiteor in fright. At the words my most grievous
fault he ceased, breathless.
— How long is it since your last confession, my
— A long time, father. —
— A month, my child ? —
— Longer, father. —
— Three months, my child ? — ■ ^
— Longer, father. —
— Six months ? —
— Eight months, father. —
He had begun. The priest asked :
— And what do you remember since that time ? —
He began to confess his sins: masses missed, prayers
not said, lies.
— Anything else, my child ? —
Sins of anger, envy of others, gluttony, vanity, dis-
— Anything else, my child ? —
There was no help. He murmured:
— I . . . committed sins of impurity, father. —
The priest did not turn his head.
— With yourself, my child ? —
— And . . . with others. —
— With women, my child ? —
— Yes, father. —
— Were they married women, my child? —
He did not know. His sins trickled from his lips, one
by one, trickled in shameful drops from his soul fester-
ing and oozing like a sore, a squalid stream of vice.
The last sins oozed forth, sluggish, filthy. There was no
more to tell. He bowed his head, overcome.
The priest was silent. Then he asked:
— How old are you, my child ? —
— Sixteen, father. —
The priest passed his hand several times over his face.
Then, resting his forehead against his hand, he leaned
towards the grating and, with eyes still averted, spoke
slowly. His voice was weary and old.
— You are very young, my child — he said, — and let
me implore of you to give up that sin. It is a terrible
sin. It kills the body and it kills the soul. It is the
cause of many crimes and misfortunes. Give it up, my
child, for God's sake. It is dishonourable and unmanly.
You cannot know where that wretched habit will lead
you or where it will come against you. As long as you
commit that sin, my poor child, you will never be worth
one farthing to God. Pray to our mother Mary to help
you. She will help you, my child. Pray to Our Blessed
Lady when that sin comes into your mind. I am sure
you will do that, will you not? You repent of all those
sins. I am sure you do. And you will promise God
now that by His holy grace you will never offend Him
any more by that wicked sin. You will make that
solemn promise to God, will you not ? —
— Yes, father. —
The old and weary voice fell like sweet rain upon his
quaking parching heart. How sweet and sad !
— Do so, my poor child. The devil has led you astray.
Drive him back to hell when he tempts you to dishonour
your body in that way — the foul spirit who hates Our
Lord. Promise God now that you will give up that sin,
that wretched wretched sin. —
Blinded by his tears and by the light of God's merci-
fulness he bent his head and heard the grave words of
absolution spoken and saw the priest 's hand raised above
him in token of forgiveness.
— God bless you, my child. Pray for me. —
He knelt to say his penance, praying in a corner of
the dark nave : and his prayers ascended to heaven from
his purified heart like perfume streaming upwards from
a heart of white rose.
The muddy streets were gay. He strode homeward,
conscious of an invisible grace pervading and making
light his limbs. In spite of all he had done it. He had
confessed and God had pardoned him. His soul was
made fair and holy once more, holy and happy.
It would be beautiful to die if God so willed. It was
beautiful to live in grace a life of peace and virtue and
forbearance with others.
He sat by the fire in the kitchen, not daring to speak
for happiness. Till that moment he had not known
how beautiful and peaceful life could be. The green
square of paper pinned round the lamp cast down a
tender shade. On the dresser was a plate of sausages
and white pudding and on the shelf there were eggs.
They would be for the breakfast in the morning after
the communion in the college chapel. White pudding
and eggs and sausages and cups of tea. How simple and
beautiful was life after all ! And life lay all before him.
In a dream he fell asleep. In a dream he rose and
saw that it was morning. In a waking dream he went ,
through the quiet morning towards the college.
The boys were all there, kneeling in their places. He
knelt among them, happy and shy. The altar was
heaped with fragrant masses of white flowers: and in
the morning light the pale flames of the candles among
the white flowers were clear and silent as his own soul.
He knelt before the altar with his classmates, holding
the altar cloth with them over a living rail of hands.
His hands were trembling and his soul trembled as he
heard the priest pass with the ciborium from communi-
cant to communicant.
— Corpus Domini nostri. —
Could it be ? He knelt there sinless and timid : and he
would hold upon his tongue the host and God would
enter his purified body.
— In vitam eternam. Amen. —
Another life ! A life of grace and virtue and happi-
ness ! It was true. It was not a dream from which he
would wake. The past was past.
— Corpus Domini nostri. —
The ciborium had come to him.
Sunday was dedicated to the mystery of the Holy
Trinity, Monday to the Holy Ghost, Tuesday to the
Guardian Angels, "Wednesday to Saint Joseph, Thursday
to the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Friday to
the Suffering Jesus, Saturday to the Blessed Virgin
Every morning he hallowed himself anew in the
presence of some holy image or mystery. His day began
with an heroic offering of its every moment of thought
or action for the intentions of the sovereign pontiff and
with an early mass. The raw morning air whetted his
resolute piety; and often as he knelt among the few
worshippers at the side altar, following with his inter-
leaved prayer book the murmur of the priest, he glanced
up for an instant towards the vested figure standing in
the gloom between the two candles, which were the old
and the new testaments, and imagined that he was kneel-
ing at mass in the catacombs.
His daily life was laid out in devotional areas. By
means of ejaculations and prayers he stored up ungrudg-
ingly for the souls in purgatory centuries of days and
quarantines and years; yet the spiritual triumph which
he felt in achieving with ease so many fabulous ages of
canonical penances did not wholly reward his zeal of
prayer since he could never know how much temporal
punisliment he had remitted by way of suffrage for the
agonising souls: and, fearful lest in the midst of the
purgatorial fire, which differed from the infernal only in
that it was not everlasting, his penance might avail no
more than a drop of moisture he drove his soul daily
through an increasing circle of works of supererogation.
Every part of his day, divided by what he regarded
now as the duties of his station in life, circled about its
own centre of spiritual energy. His life seemed to have
drawn near to eternity; every thought, word and deed,
every instance of consciousness could be made to revibrate
radiantly in heaven : and at times his sense of such im-
mediate repercussion was so lively that he seemed to feel
his soul in devotion pressing like fingers the keyboard
of a great cash register and to see the amount of his
purchase start forth immediately in heaven, not as a
number but as a frail column of incense or as a slender
The rosaries, too, which he said constantly — for he
carried his beads loose in his trousers' pockets that he
might tell them as he walked the streets — transformed
themselves into coronals of flowers of such vague un-
earthly texture that they seemed to him as hueless and
odourless as they were nameless. He offered up each of
his three daily chaplets that his soul might grow strong
in each of the three theological virtues, in faith in the
Father Who had created him, in hope in the Son Who
had redeemed him, and in love of the Holy Ghost Who
had sanctified him; and this thrice triple prayer he
offered to the Three Persons through Mary in the name
of her joyful and sorrowful and glorious mysteries.
On each of the seven days of the week he further
prayed that one of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost
might descend upon his soul and drive out of it day by-
day the seven deadly sins which had defiled it in the past ;
and he prayed for each gift on its appointed day, con-
fident that it would descend upon him, though it seemed
strange to him at times that wisdom and understanding
and knowledge were so distinct in their nature that each
should be prayed for apart from the others. Yet he
believed that at some future stage of his spiritual pro-
gress this difficulty would be removed when his sinful
soul had been raised up from its weakness and enlight-
ened by the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity.
He believed this all the more, and with trepidation,
because of the divine gloom and silence wherein dwelt
the unseen Paraclete, Whose symbols were a dove and
a mighty wind, to sin against Whom was a sin beyond
forgiveness, the eternal, mysterious secret Being to
Whom, as God, the priests offered up mass once a year,
orbed in the scarlet of the tongues of fire.
The imagery through which the nature and kinship of
the Three Persons of the Trinity were darkly shadowed
forth in the books of devotion which he read — the Father
contemplating from all eternity as in a mirror His Divine
Perfections and thereby begetting eternally the Eternal
Son and the Holy Spirit proceeding out of Father and
Son from all eternity — were easier of acceptance by his
mind by reason of their august incomprehensibility than
was the simple fact that God had loved his soul from
all eternity, for ages before he had been born into the
world, for ages before the world itself had existed.
He had heard the names of the passions of love and
hate pronounced solemnly on the stage and in the pulpit,
had found them set forth solemnly in books, and had
wondered why his soul was unable to harbour them for
any time or to force his lips to utter their names with
conviction. A brief anger had often invested him, but
he had never been able to make it an abiding passion
and had always felt himself passing out of it as if his
very body were being divested with ease of some outer
skin or peel. He had felt a subtle, dark and murmurous
presence penetrate his being and fire him with a brief
iniquitous lust: it, too, had slipped beyond his grasp
leaving his mind lucid and indifferent. This, it seemed,
was the only love and that the only hate his soul would
But he could no longer disbelieve in the reality of love
since God himself had loved his individual soul with
divine love from all eternity. Gradually, as his soul was
enriched with spiritual knowledge, he saw the whole
world forming one vast symmetrical expression of God's
power and love. Life became a divine gift for every
moment and sensation of which, were it even the sight
of a single leaf hanging on the twig of a tree, his soul
should praise and thank the giver. The world for all
its solid substance and complexity no longer existed for
his soul save as a theorem of divine power and love and
universality. So entire and unquestionable was this
sense of the divine meaning in all nature granted to his
soul that he could scarcely understand why it was in any
way necessary that he should continue to live. Yet that
was part of the divine purpose and he dared not question
its use, he above all others who had sinned so deeply
and so foully against the divine purpose. Meek and
abased by this consciousness of the one eternal omni-
present perfect reality his soul took up again her burden
of pieties, masses and prayers and sacraments and morti-
fications, and only then for the first time since he had
brooded on the great mystery of love did he feel within
him a warm movement like that of some newly born life
or virtue of the soul itself. The attitude of rapture in
sacred art, the raised and parted hands, the parted lips
and eyes as of one about to swoon, became for him an
image of the soul in prayer, humiliated and faint before
But he had been forewarned of the dangers of spiritual
exaltation and did not allow himself to desist from even
the least or lowliest devotion, striving also by constant
mortification to undo the sinful past rather than to
achieve a saintliness fraught with peril. Each of his
senses was brought under a rigorous discipline. In
order to mortify the sense of sight he made it his rule to
walk in the street with downcast eyes, glancing neither
to right nor left and never behind him. His eyes
shunned every encounter with the eyes of women. From
time to time also he balked them by a sudden effort of
the will, as by lifting them suddenly in the middle of
an unfinished sentence and closing the book. To mortify
his hearing he exerted no control over his voice which
was then breaking, neither sang nor whistled and made
no attempt to flee from noise which caused him painful
nervous irritation such as the sharpening of knives on
the knifeboard, the gathering of cinders on the fireshovel
and the twigging of the carpet. To mortify his smell
was more difficult as he found in himself no instinctive
repugnance to bad odours, whether they were the odours
of the outdoor world such as those of dung or tar or
the odours of his own person among which he had made
many curious comparisons and experiments. He found
in the end that the only odour against which his sense
of smell revolted was a certain stale fishy stink like that
of longstanding urine : and whenever it was possible he
subjected himself to this unpleasant odour. To mortify
the taste he practised strict habits at table, observed to
the letter all the fasts of the church and sought by dis-
traction to divert his mind from the savours of different
foods. But it was to the mortification of touch that
he brought the most assiduous ingenuity of inventiveness.
He never consciously changed his position in bed, sat
in the most uncomfortable positions, suffered patiently
every itch and pain, kept away from the fire, remained
on his knees all through the mass except at the gospels,
left parts of his neck and face undried so that air might
sting them and, whenever he was not saying his beads,
carried his arms stiffly ^t his sides like a runner and
never in his pockets or clasped behind him.
He had no temptations to sin mortally. It surprised
him, however, to find that at the end of his course of
intricate piety and selfrestraint he was so easily at the
mercy of childish and unworthy imperfections. His
prayers and fasts availed him little for the suppression
of anger at hearing his mother sneeze or at being dis-
turbed in his devotions. It needed an immense effort of
his will to master the impulse which urged him to give
outlet to such irritation. Images of the outbursts of
trivial anger which he had often noted among his
masters, their twitching mouths, closeshut lips and
flushed cheeks, recurred to his memory, discouraging
him, for all his practice of humility, by the comparison.
To merge his life in the common tide of other lives was
harder for him than any fasting or prayer, and it was
his constant failure to do this to his own satisfaction
which caused in his soul at last a sensation of spiritual
dryness together with a growth of doubts and scruples*
His soul traversed a period of desolation in which the
sacraments themselves seemed to have turned into dried
up sources. His confession became a channel for the
escape of scrupulous and unrepented imperfections. His
actual reception of the eucharist did not bring him the
same dissolving moments of virginal self-surrender as
did those spiritual communions made by him sometimes
at the close of some visit to the Blessed Sacrament. The
book which he used for these visits was an old neglected
book written by Saint Alphonsus Liguori, with fading
characters and sere foxpapered leaves. A faded world
of fervent love and virginal responses seemed to be
evoked for his soul by the reading of its pages in which
the imagery of the canticles was interwoven with the
communicant's prayers. An inaudible voice seemed to
caress the soul, telling her names and glories, bidding her
arise as for espousal and come away, bidding her look
forth, a spouse, from Amana and from the mountains of
the leopards; and the soul seemed to answer with the
same inaudible voice, surrendering herself : Inter uhera
This idea of surrender had a perilous attraction for
his mind now that he felt his soul beset once again by
the insistent voices of the flesh which began to murmur
to him again during his prayers and meditations. It
gave him an intense sense of power to know that he
could by a single act of consent, in a moment of thought,
undo all that he had done. He seemed to feel a flood
slowly advancing towards his naked feet and to be wait-
ing for the first faint timid noiseless wavelet to touch
his fevered skin. Then, almost at the instant of that
touch, almost at the verge of sinful consent, he found
himself standing far away from the flood upon a dry
shore, saved by a sudden act of the will or a sudden
ejaculation: and, seeing the silver line of the floor far
away and beginning again its slow advance towards his
feet, a new thrill of power and satisfaction shook his
soul to know that he had not yielded nor undone all.
When he had eluded the flood of temptation many
times in this way he grew troubled and wondered whether
the grace which he had refused to lose was not being
filched from him little by little. The clear certitude of
his own immunity grew dim and to it succeeded a vague
fear that his soul had really fallen unawares. It was
with difficulty that he won back his old consciousness of
his state of grace by telling himself that he had prayed
to God at every temptation and that the grace which he
had prayed for must have been given to him inasmuch
as God was obliged to give it. The very frequency and
violence of temptations showed him at last the truth of
what he had heard about the trials of the saints. Fre-
quent and violent temptations were ' a proof that the
citadel of the soul had not fallen and that the devil
raged to make it fall.
Often when he had confessed his doubts and scruples,
some momentary inattention at prayer, a movement of
trivial anger in his soul or a subtle wilfulness in speech
or act, he was bidden by his confessor to name some sin
of his past life before absolution was given him. He
named it with humility and shame and repented of it
once more. It humiliated and shamed him to think that
he would never be freed from it wholly, however holily
he might live or whatever virtues or perfections he might
attain. A restless feeling of guilt would always be
present with him: he would confess and repent and be
absolved, confess and repent again and be absolved
again, fruitlessly. Perhaps that first hasty confession
wrung from him by the fear of hell had not been good ?
Perhaps, concerned only for his imminent doom, he had
not had sincere sorrow for his sin ? But the surest sign
that his confession had been good and that he had had
sincere sorrow for his sin was, he knew, the amendment
of his life.
— I have amended my life, have I not ? he asked him-
# # # #
The director stood in the embrasure of the window,
his back to the light, leaning an elbow on the brown
crossblind, and, as he spoke and smiled, slowly dangling
and looping the cord of the other blind, Stephen stood
before him, following for a moment with his eyes the
waning of the long summer daylight above the roofs or
the slow deft movements of the priestly fingers. The
priest's face was in total shadow, but the waning day-
light from behind him touched the deeply grooved
temples and the curves of the skull. Stephen followed
also with his ears the accents and intervals of the priest 's
voice as he spoke gravely and cordially of indifferent
themes, the vacation which had just ended, the colleges
of the order abroad, the transference of masters. The
grave and cordial voice went on easily with its tale, and
in the pauses Stephen felt bound to set it on again with
respectful questions. He knew that the tale was a pre-
lude and his mind waited for the sequel. Ever since the
message of summons had come for him from the director
his mind had struggled to find the meaning of the mes-
sage ; and during the long restless time he had sat in the
college parlour waiting for the director to come in his
eyes had wandered from one sober picture to another
around the walls and his mind wandered from one guess
to another until the meaning of the summons had almost
become clear. Then, just as he was wishing that some
unforeseen cause might prevent the director from com-
ing, he had heard the handle of the door turning and the
swish of a soutane.
The director had begun to speak of the Dominican and
Franciscan orders and of the friendship between Saint
Thomas and Saint Bonaventure. The Capuchin dress,
he thought, was rather too ....
Stephen's face gave back the priest's indulgent smile
and, not being anxious to give an opinion, he made a
slight dubitative movement with his lips.
— I believe, — continued the director, — that there is
some talk now among the Capuchins themselves of doing
away with it and following the example of the other
— I suppose they would retain it in the cloisters ? —
— 0, certainly, — said the director. — For the cloister it
is all right, but for the street I really think it would be
better to do away with, don 't you ? —
— It must be troublesome, I imagine ? —
— Of course it is, of course. Just imagine when I was
in Belgium I used to see them out cycling in all kinds of
weather with this thing up about their knees! It was
really ridiculous. Les jupes, they call them in Bel-
The vowel was so modified as to be indistinct.
— "What do they call them ? —
— Les jupes. —
— 0! —
Stephen smiled again in answer to the smile which he
could not see on the priest's shadowed face, its image
or spectre only passing rapidly across his mind as the
low discreet accent fell upon his ear. He gazed calmly
before him at the waning sky, glad of the cool of the
evening and the faint yellow glow which hid the tiny
flame kindling upon his cheek.
The names of articles of dress worn by women or of
certain soft and delicate stuffs used in their making
brought always to his mind a delicate and sinful per-
fume. As a boy he had imagined the reins by which
horses are driven as slender silken bands and it shocked
him to feel at Stradbrooke the greasy leather of harness.
It had shocked him, too, when he had felt for the first
time beneath his tremulous fingers the brittle texture
of a woman's stocking for, retaining nothing of all he
read save that which seemed to him an echo or a proph-
ecy of his own state, it was only amid softworded
phrases or within rosesoft stuffs that he dared to con-
ceive of the soul or body of a woman moving with tender
But the phrase on the priest's lips was disingenuous
for he knew that a priest should not speak lightly on
that theme. The phrase had been spoken lightly with
design and he felt that his face was being searched by
the eyes in the shadow. "Whatever he had heard or read
of the craft of Jesuits he had put aside frankly as not
borne out by his own experience. His masters, even
when they had not attracted him, had seemed to him
always intelligent and serious priests, athletic and high-
spirited prefects. He thought of them as men who
washed their bodies briskly with cold water and wore
clean cold linen. During all the years he had lived
among them in Clongowes and in Belvedere he had
received only two pandies and, though these had been
dealt him in the wrong, he knew that he had often
escaped punishment. During all those years he had
never heard from any of his masters a flippant word : it
was they who had taught him christian doctrine and
urged him to live a good life and, when he had fallen
into grievous sin, it was they who had led him back to
grace. Their presence had made him diffident of himself
when he was a muff in Clongowes and it had made him
diffident of himself also while he had held his equivocal
position in Belvedere. A constant sense of this had
remained with him up to the last year of his school life,
lie had never once disobeyed or allowed turbulent com-
panions to seduce him from his habit of quiet obedience :
and, even when he doubted some statement of a master,
he had never presumed to doubt openly. Lately some of
their judgments had sounded a little childish in his ears
and had made him feel a regret and pity as though he
were slowly passing out of an accustomed world and
were hearing its language for the last time. One day
when some boys had gathered round a priest under the
shed near the chapel, he heard the priest say :
— I believe that Lord Macaulay was a man who prob-
ably never committed a mortal sin in his life, that is to
say, a deliberate mortal sin. —
Some of the boys had then asked the priest if Victor
Hugo were not the greatest French writer. The priest
had answered that Victor Hugo had never written half
so well when he had turned against the church as he had
written when he was a catholic.
^-But there are many eminent French critics, — said
the priest, — who consider that even Victor Hugo, great
as he certainly was, had not so pure a French style as
Louis Veuillot. —
The tiny flame which the priest's allusion had kindled
upon Stephen's cheek had sunk down again and his eyes
were still fixed calmly on the colourless sky. But an
unresting doubt flew hither and thither before his mind.
Masked memories passed quickly before him: he recog-
nised scenes and persons yet he was conscious that he
had failed to perceive some vital circumstance in them.
He saw himself walking about the grounds watching the
sports in Clongowes and eating chocolate out of his
cricketcap. Some Jesuits were walking round the cycle-
track in the company of ladies. The echoes of certain
expressions used in Clongowes sounded in remote caves
of his mind.
His ears were listening to these distant echoes amid
the silence of the parlour when he became aware that
the priest was addressing him in a different voice.
— I sent for you today, Stephen, because I wished to
speak to you on a very important subject. —
— Yes, sir. —
— Have you ever felt that you had a vocation ? —
Stephen parted his lips to answer yes and then with-
held the word suddenly. The priest waited for the an-
swer and added :
— I mean have you ever felt within yourself, in your
soul, a desire to join the order. Think. —
— I have sometimes thought of it, — said Stephen.
The priest let the blindcord fall to one side and, unit-
ing his hands, leaned his chin gravely upon them, com-
muning with himself.
— In a college like this, — he said at length, — there is
one boy or perhaps two or three boys whom God calls
to the religious life. Such a boy is marked off from his
companions by his piety, by the good example he shows
to others. He is looked up to by them; he is chosen
perhaps as prefect by his fellow sodalists. And you,
Stephen, have been such a boy in this college, prefect
of Our Blessed Lady's sodality. Perhaps you are the
boy in this college whom God designs to call to Him-
A strong note of pride reinforcing the gravity of the
priest's voice made Stephen's heart quicken in response.
— To receive that call, Stephen, — said the priest, — is the
greatest honour that the Almighty God can bestow upon
a man. No king or emperor on this earth has the power
of the priest of God. No angel or archangel in heaven,
no saint, not even the Blessed Virgin herself has the
power of a priest of God; the power of the keys, the
power to bind and to loose from sin, the power of exor-
cism, the power to cast out from the creatures of God
the evil spirits that have power over them, the power,
the authority, to make the great God of Heaven come
down upon the altar and take the form of bread and wine.
What an awful power, Stephen ! —
A flame began to flutter again on Stephen's cheek as
he heard in this proud address an echo of his own proud
musings. How often had he seen himself as a priest
wielding calmly and humbly the awful power of which
angels and saints stood in reverence ! His soul had loved
to muse in secret on this desire. He had seen himself,
a young and silentmannered priest, entering a confes-
sional swiftly, ascending the altarsteps, incensing, genu-
flecting, accomplishing the vague acts of the priest-
hood which pleased him by reason of their semblance of
reality and of their distance from it. In that dim life
which he had lived through in his musings he had as-
sumed the voices and gestures which he had noted with
various priests. He had bent his knee sideways like
such a one, he had shaken the thurible only slightly like
such a one, his chasuble had swung open like that of
such another as he turned to the altar again after having
blessed the people. And above all it had pleased him
to fill the second place in those dim scenes of his imagin-
ing. He shrank from the dignity of celebrant because it
displeased him to imagine that all the vague pomp
should end in his own person or that the ritual should
assign to him so clear and final an ofiice. He longed for
the minor sacred offices, to be vested with the tunicle of
subdeacon at high mass, to stand aloof from the altar,
forgotten by the people, his shoulders covered with a
humeral veil, holding the paten within its folds or, when
the sacrifice had been accomplished, to stand as deacon
in a dalmatic cloth of gold on the step below the cele-
brant, his hands joined and his face towards the people,
and sing the chant, Ite missa est. If ever he had seen
himself celebrant it was as in the pictures of the mass
in his child 's massbook, in a church without worshippers,
save for the angel of the sacrifice, at a bare altar and
served by an acolyte scarcely more boyish than himself.
In vague sacrificial or sacramental acts alone his will
seemed drawn to go forth to encounter reality : and it was
partly the absence of an appointed rite which had always
constrained him to inaction whether he had allowed
silence to cover his anger or pride or had suffered only
an embrace he longed to give.
He listened in reverent silence now to the priest's
appeal and through the words he heard even more dis-
tinctly a voice bidding him approach, offering him secret
knowledge and secret power. He would know then what
was the sin of Simon Magus and what the sin against
the Holy Ghost for which there was no forgiveness. He
would know obscure things, hidden from others, from
those who were conceived and born children of wrath.
He would know the sins, the sinful longings and sinful
thoughts and sinful acts, of others, hearing them mur-
mured into his ears in the confessional under the shame
of a darkened chapel by the lips of women and of girls :
but rendered immune mysteriously at his ordination by
the imposition of hands his soul would pass again uncon-
taminated to the white peace of the altar. No touch of
sin would linger upon the hands with which he would
elevate and break the host ; no touch of sin would linger
on his lips in prayer to make him eat and drink damna-
tion to himself not discerning the body of the Lord. He
would hold his secret knowledge and secret power, being
as sinless as the innocent: and he would be a priest for
ever according to the order of Melchisedec.
— I will offer up my mass tomorrow morning, said
the director, that Almighty God may reveal to you His
holy will. And let you, Stephen, make a novena to your
holy patron saint, the first martyr who is very powerful
with God, that God may enlighten your mind. But you
must be quite sure, Stephen, that you have a vocation
because it would be terrible if you found afterwards that
you had none. Once a priest always a priest, remember.
Your catechism tells you that the sacrament of Holy
Orders is one of those which can be received only once
because it imprints on the soul an indelible spiritual mark
which can never be effaced. It is before you must weigh
well, not after. It is a solemn question, Stephen, be-
cause on it may depend the salvation of your eternal
soul. But we will pray to God together. —
He held open the heavy hall door and gave his hand as
if already to a companion in the spiritual life. Stephen
passed out on to the wide platform above the steps and
was conscious of the caress of mild evening air. Towards
Findlater's church a quartette of young men were
striding along with linked arms, swaying their heads and
stepping to the agile melody of their leader 's concertina.
The music passed in an instant, as the first bars of sud-
den music always did, over the fantastic fabrics of his
mind, dissolving them painlessly and noiselessly as a
sudden wave dissolves the sandbuilt turrets of children.
Smiling at the trivial air he raised his eyes to the priest 's
face and, seeing in it a mirthless reflection of the sunken
day, detached his hand slowly which had acquiesced
faintly in that companionship.
As he descended the steps the impression which effaced
his troubled self communion was that of a mirthless mask
reflecting a sunken day from the threshold of the
college. The shadow, then, of the life of the college
passed gravely over his consciousness. It was a grave
and ordered and passionless life that awaited him, a life
without material cares. He wondered how he would
pass the first night in the novitiate and with what dismay
he would wake the first morning in the dormitory. The
troubling odour of the long corridors of Clongowes came
back to him and he heard the discreet murmur of the
burning gas flames. At once from every part of his being
unrest began to irradiate. A feverish quickening of his
pulses followed and a din of meaningless words drove
his reasoned thoughts hither and thither confusedly.
His lungs dilated and sank as if he were inhaling a warm
moist unsustaining air, and he smelt again the moist
warm air which hung in the bath in Clongowes above
the sluggish turfcoloured water.
Some instinct, waking at these memories, stronger
than education or piety quickened within him at every
near approach to that life, an instinct subtle and hostile,
and armed him against acquiescence. The chill and
order of the life repelled him. He saw himself rising in
the cold of the morning and filing down with the others
to early mass and trying vainly to struggle with his
prayers against the fainting sickness of his stomach. He
saw himself sitting at dinner with the community of a
college. What, then, had become of that deeprooted
shyness of his which had made him loth to eat or drink
under a strange roof? What had come of the pride of
his spirit which had always made him conceive himself
as a being apart in every order ?
The Reverend Stephen Dedalus, S. J.
His name in that new life leaped into characters before
his eyes and to it there followed a mental sensation of
an undefined face or colour of a face. The colour faded
and became strong like a changing glow of pallid brick
red; Was it the raw reddish glow he had so often seen
on wintry mornings on the shaven gills of the priests?
The face was eyeless and sourfavoured and devout, shot
with pink tinges of suffocated anger. Was it not a mental
spectre of the face of one of the Jesuits whom some of the
boys called Lantern Jaws and others Foxy Campbell ?
He was passing at that moment before the Jesuit
house in Gardimer Street, and wondered vaguely which
window would be his if he ever joined the order. Then
he wondered at the vagueness of his wonder, at the
remoteness of his own soul from what he had hitherto
imagined her sanctuary, at the frail hold which so many
years of order and obedience had of him when once a
definite and irrevocable act of his threatened to end for
ever, in time and in eternity, his freedom. The voice
of the director urging upon him the proud claims of the
church and the mystery and power of the priestly office
repeated itself idly in his memory. His soul was not
there to hear and greet it and he knew now that the
exhortation he had listened to had already fallen into an
idle formal tale. He would never swing the thurible
before the tabernacle as priest. His destiny was to be
elusive of social or religious orders. The wisdom of the
priest's appeal did not touch him to the quick. He was
destined to learn his own wisdom apart from others or
to learn the wisdom of others himself wandering among
the snares of the world.
The snares of the world were its ways of sin. He would
fall. He had not yet fallen but he would fall silently,
in an instant. Not to fall was too hard, too hard : and
he felt the silent lapse of his soul, as it would be at some
instant to come, falling, falling, but not yet fallen, still
unfallen, but about to fall.
He crossed the bridge over the stream of the Tolka,
and turned his eyes coldly for an instant towards the
faded blue shrine of the Blessed Virgin which stood fowl-
wise on a pole in the middle of a hamshaped encampment
of poor cottages. Then, bending to the left, he followed
the lane which led up to his house. The faint sour stink
of rotted cabbages came towards him from the kitchen
gardens on the rising ground above the river. He smiled
to think that it was this disorder, the misrule and confu-
sion of his father's house and the stagnation of vegetable
life, which was to win the day in his soul. Then a short
laugh broke from his lips as he thought of that solitary
farmhand in the kitchen gardens behind their house
whom they had nicknamed The Man with the Hat. A
second laugh, taking rise from the first after a pause,
broke from him involuntarily as he thought of how The
Man with the Hat worked, considering in turn the four
points of the sky and then regretfully plunging his spade
in the earth.
He pushed open the latchless door of the porch and
passed through the naked hallway into the kitchen. A
group of his brothers and sisters was sitting round the
table. Tea was nearly over and only the last of the
second watered tea remained in the bottoms of the small
glass jars and jampots which did service for teacups.
Discarded crusts and lumps of sugared bread, turned
brown by the tea which had been poured over them, lay
scattered on the table. Little wells of tea lay here and
there on the board and a knife with a broken ivory
handle was stuck through the pith of a ravaged turnover.
The sad quiet greyblue glow of the dying day came
through the window and the open door, covering over
and allaying quietly a sudden instinct of remorse in
Stephen's heart. All that had been denied them had
been freely given to him, the eldest : but the quiet glow
of evening showed him in their faces no sign of rancour.
He sat near them at the table and asked where his
father and mother were. One answered :
— Goneboro toboro lookboro atboro aboro houseboro. —
Still another removal ! A boy named Fallon, in Belve-
dere, had often asked him with a silly laugh why they
moved so often. A frown of scorn darkened quickly his
forehead as he heard again the silly laugh of the ques-
He asked :
— Why are we on the move again, if it's a fair ques-
— Becauseboro theboro landboro lordboro willboro
putboro usboro outboro. —
The voice of his youngest brother from the farther side
of the fireplace began to sing the air *' Oft in the Stilly
Night." One by one the others took up the air until a
full choir of voices was singing. They would sing so
for hours, melody after melody, glee after glee, till the
last pale light died down on the horizon, till the first
dark nightclouds came forth and night fell.
He waited for some moments, listening, before he too
took up the air with them. He was listening with pain
of spirit to the overtone of weariness behind their frail
fresh innocent voices. Even before they set out on life 's
journey they seemed weary already of the way.
He heard the choir of voices in the kitchen echoed and
multiplied through an endless reverberation of the choirs
of endless generations of children: and heard in all the
echoes an echo also of the recurring note of weariness
and pain. All seemed weary of life even before entering
upon it. And he remembered that Newman had heard
this note also in the broken lines of Virgil ** giving
utterance, like the voice of Nature herself, to that pain
and weariness yet hope of better things which has been
the experience of her children in every time.''
He could wait no longer.
From the door of Byron's public-house to the gate of
Glontarf Chapel, from the gate of Clontarf Chapel to
the door of Byron's public-house, and then back again
to the chapel and then back again to the public-house
he had paced slowly at first, planting his steps scrupu-
lously in the spaces of the patchwork of the footpath,
then timing their fall to the fall of verses. A full hour
had passed since his father had gone in with Dan Crosby,
the tutor, to find out for him something about the uni-
versity. For a full hour he had paced up and down,
waiting : but he could wait no longer.
He set off abruptly for the Bull, walking rapidly lest
his father's shrill whistle might call him back; and in a
few moments he had rounded the curve at the police
barrack and was safe.
Yes, his mother was hostile to the idea, as he had read
from her listless silence. Yet her mistrust pricked him
more keenly than his father *s pride and he thought
coldly how he had watched the faith which was fading
down in his soul ageing and strengthening in her eyes. A
dim antagonism gathered force within him and darkened
his mind as a cloud against her disloyalty : and when it
passed, cloudlike, leaving his mind serene and dutiful
towards her again, he was made aware dimly and with-
out regret of a first noiseless sundering of their lives.
The university! So he had passed beyond the chal-
lenge of the sentries who had stood as guardians of his
boyhood and had sought to keep him among them that
he might be subject to them and serve their ends. Pride
after satisfaction uplifted him like long slow waves.
The end he had been bom to serve yet did not see had
led him to escape by an unseen path: and now it
beckoned to him once more and a new adventure was
about to be opened to him. It seemed to him that he
heard notes of fitful music leaping upwards a tone and
downwards a diminishing fourth, upwards a tone and
downwards a major third, like triple-branching flames
leaping fitfully, flame after flame, out of a midnight
wood. It was an elfin prelude, endless and formless;
and, as it grew wilder and faster, the flames leaping out
of time, he seemed to hear from under the boughs and
grasses wild creatures racing, their feet pattering like
rain upon the leaves. Their feet passed in pattering
tumult over his mind, the feet of hares and rabbits, the
feet of harts and hinds and antelopes, until he heard
them no more and remembered only a proud cadence
from Newman : —
— Whose feet are as the feet of harts and underneath
the everlasting arms. —
The pride of that dim image brought back to his mind
the dignity of the office he had refused. All through his
boyhood he had mused upon that which he had so often
thought to be his destiny and when the moment had
come for him to obey the call he had turned aside, obey-
ing a wayward instinct. Now time lay between : the oils
of ordination would never anoint his body. He had
refused. Why ?
He turned seaward from the road at DoUymount and
as he passed on to the thin wooden bridge he felt the
planks shaking with the tramp of heavily shod feet. A
squad of Christian Brothers was on its way back from
the Bull and had begun to pass, two by two, across the
bridge. Soon the whole bridge was trembling and re-
sounding. The uncouth faces passed him two by two,
stained yellow or red or livid by the sea, and as he strove
to look at them with ease and indifference, a faint stain
of personal shame and commiseration rose to his own
face. Angry with himself he tried to hide his face from
their eyes by gazing down sideways into the shallow
swirling water under the bridge but he still saw a reflec-
tion therein of their topheavy silk hats, and humble
tapelike collars and loosely hanging clerical clothes.
— Brother Ilickey.
Brother Keogh. —
Their piety would be like their names, like their ffices,
like their clothes ; and it was idle for him to tell himself
that their humble and contrite hearts, it might be, paid
a far richer tribute of devotion than his had ever been, a
gift tenfold more acceptable than his elaborate adora-
tion. It was idle for him to move himself to be generous
towards them, to tell himself that if he ever came to
their gates, stripped of his pride, beaten and in beggar's
weeds, that they would be generous towards him, loving
him as themselves. Idle and embittering, finally, to
argue, against his own dispassionate certitude, that the
commandment of love bade us not to love our neighbours
as ourselves with the same amount and intensity of love
but to love him as ourselves with the same kind of love.
He drew forth a phrase from his treasure and spoke it
softly to himself ;
— A day of dappled seaborne clouds. —
The phrase and the day and the scene harmonised in
a chord. Words. Was it their colours? He allowed
them to glow and fade, hue after hue : sunrise gold, the
russet and green of apple orchards, azure of waves, the
greyf ringed fleece of clouds. No, it was not their
colours : it was the poise and balance of the period itself.
Did he then love the rhythmic rise and fall of words
better than their associations of legend and colour? Or
was it that, being as weak of sight as he was shy of
mind, he drew less pleasure from the reflection of the
glowing sensible world through the prism of a language
manycoloured and richly storied than from the contem-
plation of an inner world of individual emotions mirrored
perfectly in a lucid supple periodic prose.
He passed from the trembling bridge on to firm land
again. At that instant, as it seemed to him, the air was
chilled; and looking askance towards the water he saw
a flying squall darkening and crisping suddenly the tide.
A faint click at his heart, a faint throb in his throat told
him once more of how his flesh dreaded the cold infra-
human odour of the sea : yet he did not strike across the
downs on his left but held straight on along the spine of
rocks that pointed against the river's mouth.
A veiled sunlight lit up faintly the grey sheet of water
where the river was embayed. In the distance along the
course of the slowflowing Liffey slender masts flecked
the sky and, more distant still, the dim fabric of the city
lay prone in haze. Like a scene on some vague arras,
old as man's weariness, the image of the seventh city of
Christendom was visible to him across the timeless air,
no older nor more weary nor less patient of subjection
than in the days of the thingmote.
Disheartened, he raised his eyes towards the slow-
drifting clouds, dappled and seaborne. They were
voyaging across the deserts of the sky, a host of nomads
on the march, voyaging high over Ireland, westward
bound. The Europe they had come from lay out there
beyond the Irish Sea, Europe of strange tongues and
valleyed and woodbegirt and citadelled and of en-
trenched and marshalled races. He heard a confused
music within him as of memories and names which he
was almost conscious of but could not capture even for
an instant; then the music seemed to recede, to recede,
to recede : and from each receding trail of nebulous music
there fell always one long-drawn calling note, piercing
like a star the dusk of silence. Again ! Again ! Again !
A voice from beyond the world was calling.
— Hello, Stephanos ! —
— Here comes The Dedalus ! —
— Ao! . . . Eh, give it over, Dwyer, I*m telling you
or I'll give you a stuff in the kisser for yourself. . . .
— Good man, Towser ! Duck him ! —
— Come along, Dedalus! Bous Stephanoumenos !
Bous Stephanef oros ! —
— Duck him ! Guzzle him now, Towser ! —
— Help! Help! . . . Ao! —
He recognised their speech collectively before he dis-
tinguished their faces. The mere sight of that medley of
wet nakedness chilled him to the bone. Their bodies,
corpsewhite or suffused with a pallid golden light or
rawly tanned by the suns, gleamed with the wet of the
sea. Their divingstone, poised on its rude supports and
rocking under their plunges, and the rough-hewn stones
of the sloping breakwater over which they scrambled in
their horseplay, gleamed with cold wet lustre. The
towels with which they smacked their bodies were heavy
with cold seawater: and drenched with cold brine was
their matted hair.
He stood still in deference to their calls and parried
their banter with easy words. How characterless they
looked: Shuley without his deep unbuttoned collar,
Ennis without his scarlet belt with the snaky clasp, and
Connolly without his Norfolk coat with the flapless
sidepockets ! It was a pain to see them and a sword-like
pain to see the signs of adolescence that made repellent
their pitiable nakedness. Perhaps they had taken refuge
in number and noise from the secret dread in their souls.
But he, apart from them and in silence, remembered in
what dread he stood of the mystery of his own body.
— Stephanos Dedalos ! Bous Stephanoumenos ! Bous
Stephanef oros ! —
Their banter was not new to him and now it flattered
his mild proud sovereignty. Now, as never before, his
strange name seemed to him a prophecy. So timeless
seemed the grey warm air, so fluid and impersonal his
own mood, that all ages were as one to him. A moment
before the ghost of the ancient kingdom of the Danes
had looked forth through the vesture of the hazewrapped
city. Now, at the name of the fabulous artificer, he
seemed to hear the noise of dim waves and to see a
winged form flying above the waves and slowly climbing
the air. What did it mean? Was it a quaint device
opening a page of some medieval book of prophecies and
symbols, a hawklike man flying sunward above the sea,
a prophecy of the end he had been born to serve and
had been following through the mists of childhood and
boyhood, a symbol of the artist forging anew in his
workshop out of the sluggish matter of the earth a new
soaring impalpable imperishable being?
His heart trembled ; his breath came faster and a wild
spirit passed over his limbs as though he were soaring
sunward. His heart trembled in an ecstasy of fear and
his soul was in flighto His soul was soaring in an air
beyond the world and the body he knew was purified in
a breath and delivered of incertitude and made radiant
and commingled with the element of the spirit. An
ecstasy of flight made radiant his eyes and wild his
breath and tremulous and wild and radiant his wind-
— One ! Two ! . . . Look out ! —
— 0, Gripes, I 'm drownded ! —
— One ! Two ! Three and away ! —
— The next ! The next ! —
— One! . . . Uk! —
— Stephaneforos ! —
His throat ached with a desire to cry aloud, the cry
of a hawk or eagle on high, to cry piercingly of his
deliverance to the winds. This was the call of life to his
soul not the dull gross voice of the world of duties and
despair, not the inhuman voice that had called him to
the pale service of the altar. An instant of wild flight
had delivered him and the cry of triumph which his lips
withheld cleft his brain.
— Stephaneforos ! —
"What were they now but the cerements shaken from
the body of death — the fear he had walked in night and
day, the incertitude that had ringed him round, the
shame that had abased him within and without — cere-
ments, the linens of the grsive ?
His soul had arisen from the grave of boyhood, spum-
ing her graveclothes. Yes! Yes! Yes! He would
create proudly out of the freedom and power of his soul,
as the great artificer whose name he bore, a living thing,
new and soaring and beautiful, impalpable, imperish-
He started up nervously from the stoneblock for he
could no longer quench the flame in his blood. He felt
his cheeks aflame and his throat throbbing with song.
There was a lust of wandering in his feet that burned to
set out for the ends of the earth. On ! On ! his heart
seemed to cry. Evening would deepen above the sea,
night fall upon the plains, dawn glimmer before the
wanderer and show him strange fields and hills and faces.
He looked northward towards Howth. The sea had
fallen below the line of seawrack on the shallow side of
the breakwater and already the tide was running out
fast along the foreshore. Already one long oval bank of
sand lay warm and dry amid the wavelets. Here and
there warm isles of sand gleamed above the shallow tide :
and about the isles and around the long bank and amid
the shallow currents of the beach were lightclad figures,
wading and delving.
In a few moments he was barefoot, his stockings folded
in his pockets, and his canvas shoes dangling by their
knotted laces over his shoulders : and, picking a pointed
salteaten stick out of the jetsam among the rocks, he
clambered down the slope of the breakwater.
There was a long rivulet in the strand: and, as he
waded slowly up its course, he wondered at the endless
drift of seaweed. Emerald and black and russet and
olive, it moved beneath the current, swaying and turn-
ing. The water of the rivulet was dark with endless
drift and mirrored the highdrifting clouds. The clouds
were drifting above him silently and silently the sea-
tangle was drifting below him ; and- the grey warm air
was still : and a new wild life was singing in his veins.
Where was his boyhood now ? Where was the soul that
had hung back from her destiny, to brood alone upon the
shame of her wounds and in her house of squalor and
subterfuge to queen it in faded cerements and in wreaths
that withered at the touch ? Or, where was he.
He was alone. He was unheeded, happy, and near to
the wild heart of life. He was alone and young and
wilful and wildhearted, alone amid a waste of wild air
and brackish waters and the seaharvest of shells and
tangle and veiled grey sunlight and gayclad lightclad
figures of children and girls and voices childish and
girlish in the air.
A girl stood before him in midstream : alone and still,
gazing out to sea. She seemed like one whom magic had
changed into the likeness of a strange and beautiful sea-
bird. Her long slender bare legs were delicate as a
crane 's and pure save where an emerald trail of seaweed
had fashioned itself as a sign upon the flesh. Her thighs,
fuller and softhued as ivory, were bared almost to the
hips where the white fringes of her drawers were like
feathering of soft white down. Her slate-blue skirts
were kilted boldly about her waist and dovetailed be-
hind her. Her bosom was as a bird's, soft and slight,
slight and soft as the breast of some dark-plumaged
dove. But her long fair hair was girlish : and girlish,
and touched with the wonder of mortal beauty, her face.
She was alone and still, gazing out to sea; and when
she felt his presence and the worship of his eyes her
eyes turned to him in quiet sufferance of his gaze, with-
out shame or wantonness. Long, long she suffered his
gaze and then quietly withdrew her eyes from his and
bent them towards the stream, gently stirring the water
with her foot hither and thither. The first faint noise
of gently moving water broke the silence, low and faint
and whispering, faint as the bells of sleep; hither and
thither, hither and thither: and a faint flame trembled
on her cheek.
— Heavenly God ! cried Stephen's soul, in an outburst
of profane joy. —
He turned away from her suddenly and set off across
the strand. His cheeks were aflame ; his body was aglow ;
his limbs were trembling. On and on and on and on he
strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea,
crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to
Her image had passed into his soul for ever and no
word had broken the holy silence of his ecstasy. Her
eyes had called him and his soul had leaped at the call.
To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out
of life ! A wild angel had appeared to him, the angel of
mortal youth and beauty, an envoy from the fair courts
of life, to throw open before him in an instant of ecstasy
the gates of all the ways of error and glory. On and on
and on and on !
He halted suddenly and heard his heart in the silence.
How far had he walked ? What hour was it ?
There was no human figure near him nor any sound
borne to him over the air. But the tide was near the
turn and already the day was on the wane. He turned
landward and ran towards the shore and, running up the
sloping beach, reckless of the sharp shingle, found a
sandy nook amid a ring of tufted sand knolls and lay
down there that the peace and silence of the evening
might still the riot of his blood.
He felt above him the vast indifferent dome and the
calm processes of the heavenly bodies: and the earth
beneath him, the earth that had borne him, had taken
him to her breast.
He closed his eyes in the languor of sleep. His eye-
lids trembled as if they felt the vast cyclic movement of
the earth and her watchers, trembled as if they felt the
strange light of some new world. His soul was swooning
into some new world, fantastic, dim, uncertain as under
sea, traversed by cloudy shapes and beings. A world,
a glimmer, or a flower? Glimmering and trembling,
trembling and unfolding, a breaking light, an opening
flower, it spread in endless succession to itself, breaking
in full crimson and unfolding and fading to palest rose,
leaf by leaf and wave of light by wave of light, flooding
all the heavens with its soft flushes, every flush deeper
Evening had fallen when he woke and the sand and
arid grasses of his bed glowed no longer. He rose slowly
and, recalling the rapture of his sleep, sighed at its joy.
He climbed to the crest of the sandhill and gazed about
him. Evening had fallen. A rim of the young moon
cleft the pale waste of sky line, the rim of a silver hoop
embedded in grey sand : and the tide was flowing in fast
to the land with a low whisper of her waves, islanding a
few last figures in distant pools.
He drained his third cup of watery tea to the dregs
and set to chewing the crusts of fried bread that were
scattered near him, staring into the dark pool of the jar.
The yellow dripping had been scooped out like a boghole,
and the pool under it brought back to his memory the
dark turfcoloured water of the bath in Clongowes. The
box of pawn tickets at his elbow had just been rifled and
he took up idly one after another in his greasy fingers the
blue and white dockets, scrawled and sanded and creased
and bearing the name of the pledger as Daly or Mac-
1 Pair Buskins.
1 D. Coat.
3 Articles and White.
1 Man's Pants.
Then he put them aside and gazed thoughtfully at
the lid of the box, speckled with louse marks, and asked
— How much is the clock fast now ?
His mother straightened the battered alarm clock that
was lying on its side in the middle of the mantelpiece
until its dial showed a quarter to twelve and then laid it
once more on its side.
— An hour and twenty five minutes, she said. The
right time now is twenty past ten. The dear knows you
might try to be in time for your lectures.
— Fill out the place for me to wash, said Stephen.
— Katey, fill out the place for Stephen to wash.
— Booty, fill out the place for Stephen to wash.
— I can*t, I'm going for blue. Fill it out, you, Mag-
When the enamelled basin had been fitted into the
well of the sink and the old washing glove flung on the
side of it, he allowed his mother to scrub his neck and
root into the folds of his ears and into the interstices at
the wings of his nose.
— Well, it's a poor case, she said, when a university
student is so dirty that his mother has to wash him.
— But it gives you pleasure, said Stephen calmly.
An ear splitting whistle was heard from upstairs and
his mother thrust a damp overall into his hands, saying :
— Dry yourself and hurry out for the love of goodness.
A second shrill whistle, prolonged angrily, brought one
of the girls to the foot of the staircase.
— Yes, father?
— Is your lazy bitch of a brother gone out yet?
— Yes, father.
The girl came back, making signs to him to be quick
and go out quietly by the back. Stephen laughed and
— He has a curious idea of genders if he thinks a bitch
— Ah, it 's a scandalous shame for you, Stephen, said
his mother, and you'll live to rue the day you set your
foot in that place. I know how it has changed you.
— Good morning, everybody, said Stephen, smiling
and kissing the tips of his fingers in adieu.
The lane behind the terrace was waterlogged and as
he went down it slowly, choosing his steps amid heaps
of wet rubbish, he heard a mad nun screeching in the
nun's madhouse beyond the wall.
— Jesus ! Jesus ! Jesus !
He shook the sound out of his ears by an angry toss
of his head and hurried on, stumbling through the
mouldering offal, his heart already bitten by an ache
of loathing and bitterness. His father's whistle, his
mother's mutterings, the screech of an unseen maniac
were to him now so many voices offending and threaten-
ing to humble the pride of his youth. He drove their
echoes even out of his heart with an execration: but, as
he walked down the avenue and felt the grey morning
light falling about him through the dripping trees and
smelt the strange wild smell of the wet leaves and bark,
his soul was loosed of her miseries.
The rain laden trees of the avenue evoked in him,
as always, memories of the girls and women in the plays
of Gerhart Hauptmann; and the memory of their pale
sorrows and the fragrance falling from the wet branches
mingled in a mood of quiet joy. His morning walk
across the city had begun; and he foreknew that as he
passed the sloblands of Fairview he would think of the
cloistral silverveined prose of Newman ; that as he walked
along the North Strand Road, glancing idly at the win-
dows of the provision shops, he would recall the dark
humour of Guido Cavalcanti and smile ; that as he went
by Baird's stone cutting works in Talbot Place the
spirit of Ibsen would blow through him like a keen wind,
a spirit of wayward boyish beauty; and that passing a
grimy marine dealer's shop beyond the Liffey he would
repeat the song by Ben Jonson which begins :
/ was not wearier where I lay.
His mind when wearied of its search for the essence
of beauty amid the spectral words of Aristotle or Aquinas
turned often for its pleasure to the dainty songs of the
Elizabethans. His mind, in the vesture of a doubting
monk, stood often in shadow under the windows of that
age, to hear the grave and mocking music of the lutenists
or the frank laughter of waistcoateers until a laugh too
low, a phrase, tarnished by time, of chambering and false
honour, stung his monkish pride and drove him on from
The lore which he was believed to pass his days brood-
ing upon so that it had rapt him from the companionship
of youth was only a garner of slender sentences from
Aristotle's Poetics and Psychology and a Synopsis
PhilosophioB Scholasticoe ad mentem divi Thomce. His
tliinking was a dusk of doubt and s6lf mistrust, lit up at
moments by the lightnings of intuition, but lightnings
of so clear a splendour that in those moments the world
perished about his feet as if it had been fire consumed :
and thereafter his tongue grew heavy and he met the
eyes of others with unanswering eyes for he felt that
the spirit of beauty had folded him round like a mantle
and that in reverie at least he had been acquainted with
nobility. But, when this brief pride of silence upheld
him no longer, he was glad to find himself still in the
midst of common lives, passing on his way amid the
squalor and noise and sloth of the city fearlessly and
with a light heart.
Near the hoardings on the canal he met the consump-
tive man with the doll's face and the brimless hat com-
ing towards him down the slope of the bridge with little
steps, tightly buttoned into his chocolate overcoat, and
holding his furled umbrella a span or two from him
like a divining rod. It must be eleven, he thought, and
peered into a dairy to see the time. The clock in the
dairy told him that it was five minutes to five but, as
he turned away, he heard a clock somewhere near him,
but unseen, beating eleven strokes in swift precision.
He laughed as he heard it for it made him think of
McCann; and he saw him a squat figure in a shooting
jacket and breeches and with a fair goatee, standing
in the wind at Hopkins ' corner, and heard him say :
— Dedalus, you're an anti-social being, wrapped up
in yourself. I'm not. I'm a democrat: and I'll work
and act for social liberty and equality among all classes
and sexes in the United States of the Europe of the
Eleven ! Then he was late for that lecture too. What
day of the week was it? He stopped at a newsagent's
to read the headline of a placard. Thursday. Ten to
eleven, English ; eleven to twelve, French ; twelve to one.
Physics. He fancied to himself the English lecture and
felt, even at that distance, restless and helpless. He
saw the heads of his classmates meekly bent as they
wrote in their notebooks the points they were bidden to
note, nominal definitions, essential definitions and ex-
amples or dates of birth or death, chief works, a favour-
able and an unfavourable criticism side by side. His
own head was unbent for his thoughts wandered abroad
and whether he looked around the little class of students
or out of the window across the desolate gardens of the
Green an odour assailed him of cheerless cellar damp
and decay. Another head than his, right before him in
the first benches, was poised squarely above its bending
fellows like the head of a priest appealing without
humility to the tabernacle for the humble worshippers
about him. Why was it that when he thought of Cranly
he could never raise before his mind the entire image of
his body but only the image of the head and face ? Even
now against the grey curtain of the morning he saw it
before him like the phantom of a dream, the face of a
severed head or death-mask, crowned on the brows by its
stiff black upright hair as by an iron crown. It was a
priestlike face, priestlike in its pallor, in the wide winged
nose, in the shadowings below the eyes and along the
jaws, priestlike in the lips that were long and bloodless
and faintly smiling: and Stephen, remembering swiftly
how he had told Cranly of all the tumults and unrest and
longings in his soul, day after day and night by night,
only to be answered by his friend's listening silence,
would have told himself that it was the face of a guilty
priest who heard confessions of those whom he had not
power to absolve but that he felt again in memory the
gaze of its dark womanish eyes.
Through this image he had a glimpse of a strange
dark cavern of speculation but at once turned away
from it, feeling that it was not yet the hour to enter it.
But the night shade of his friend's listlessness seemed
to be diffusing in the air around him a tenuous and
deadly exhalation; and he found himself glancing from
one casual word to another on his right or left in stolid
wonder that they had been so silently emptied of in-
stantaneous sense until every mean shop legend bound
his mind like the words of a spell and his soul shrivelled
up sighing with age as he walked on in a lane among
heaps of dead language. His own consciousness of lan-
guage was ebbing from his brain and trickling into the
very words themselves which set to band and disband
themselves in wayward rhythms :
The ivy whines upon the wall,
And whines and twines upon the wall,
The yellow ivy upon the wall,
Ivy, ivy up the wall.
Did any one ever hear such drivel ? Lord Almighty !
Who ever heard of ivy whining on a wall ? Yellow ivy :
that was all right. Yellow ivory also. And what about
ivory ivy 1
The word now shone in his brain, clearer and brighter
than any ivory sawn from the mottled tusks of elephants.
Ivory, ivoire, avorio, ehur. One of the first examples
that he had learnt in Latin had run : India mittit ehur;
and he recalled the shrewd northern face of the rector
who had taught him to construe the Metamorphoses of
Ovid in a courtly English, made whimsical by the men-
tion of porkers and potshreds and chines of bacon. He
had learnt what little he knew of the laws of Latin verse
from a ragged book written by a Portuguese priest.
Contrahit orator, variant in carmine vates.
The crises and victories and secessions in Roman his-
tory were handed on to him in the trite words in tanto
discrimine and he had tried to peer into the social life
of the city of cities through the words implere ollam
denariorum which the rector had rendered sonorously
as the filling of a pot with denaries. The pages of his
timeworn Horace never felt cold to the touch even when
his own fingers were cold: they were human pages: and
fifty years before they had been turned by the human
fingers of John Duncan Inverarity and by his brother,
William Malcolm Inverarity. Yes, those were noble
names on the dusky flyleaf and, even for so poor a
Latinist as he, the dusky verses were as fragrant as
though they had lain all those years in myrtle and lav-
ender and vervain; but yet it wounded him to think
that he would never be but a shy guest at the feast of
the world's culture and that the monkish learning, in
terms of which he was striving to forge out an esthetic
philosophy, was held no higher by the age he lived in
than the subtle and curious jargons of heraldry and fal-
The grey block of Trinity on his left, set heavily in
the city's ignorance like a dull stone set in a cumbrous
ring, pulled his mind downward ; and while he was striv-
ing this way and that to free his feet from the fetters of
the reformed conscience he came upon the droll statue of
the national poet of Ireland.
He looked at it without anger: for, though sloth of
the body and of the soul crept over it like unseen vermin,
over the shuffling feet and up the folds of the cloak and
around the servile head, it seemed humbly conscious of
its indignity. It was a Firbolg in the borrowed cloak of
a Milesian ; and he thought of his friend Davin, the peas-
ant student. It was a jesting name between them, but
the young peasant bore with it lightly :
— Go on, Stevie, I have a hard head, you tell me.
Call me what you will.
The homely version of his christian name on the lips
of his friend had touched Stephen pleasantly when first
heard for he was as formal in speech with others as
they were with him. Often, as he sat in Davin's rooms
in Grantham Street, wondering at his friend 's well made
boots that flanked the wall pair by pair and repeating
for his friend's simple ear the verses and cadences of
others which were the veils of his own longing and de-
jection, the rude Firbolg mind of his listener had drawn
his mind towards it and flung it back again, drawing
it by a quiet inbred courtesy of attention or by a quaint
turn of old English speech or by the force of its delight
in rude bodily skill — for Davin had sat at the feet of
Michael Cusack, the Gael — repelling swiftly and sud-
denly by a grossness of intelligence or by a bluntness of
feeling or by a dull stare of terror in the eyes, the terror
of soul of a starving Irish village in which the curfew
was still a nightly fear.
Side by side with his memory of the deeds of prowess
of his uncle Mat Davin, the athlete, the young peasant
worshipped the sorrowful legend of Ireland. The gossip
of his fellow students which strove to render the flat
life of the college significant at any cost loved to think
of him as a young fenian. His nurse had taught him
Irish and shaped his rude imaginaation by the broken
lights of Irish myth. He stood towards the myth upon
which no individual mind had ever drawn out a line of
beauty and to its unwieldy tales that divided themselves
as they moved down the cycles in the same attitude as
towards the Roman catholic religion, the attitude of a
dull witted loyal serf. Wliatsoever of thought or of feel-
ing came to him from England or by way of English
culture his mind stood armed against in obedience to
a password; and of the world that lay beyond England
he knew only the foreign legion of France in which he
spoke of serving.
Coupling this ambition with the young man^s humour
Stephen had often called him one of the tame geese:
and there was even a point of irritation in the name
pointed against that very reluctance of speech and deed
in his friend which seemed so often to stand between
Stephen's mind, eager of speculation, and the hidden
ways of Irish life.
One night the young peasant, his spirit stung by the
violent or luxurious language in which Stephen escaped
from the cold silence of intellectual revolt, had called
up before Stephen's mind a strange vision. The two
were walking slowly towards Davin's rooms through the
dark narrow streets of the poorer jews.
— A thing happened to myself, Stevie, last autumn,
coming on winter, and I never told it to a living soul
and you are the first person now I ever told it to. I
disremember if it was October or November. It was
October because it was before I came up here to join the
Stephen had turned his smiling eyes towards his
friend's face, flattered by his confidence and won over
to sympathy by the speaker's simple accent.
— I was away all that day from my own place over
in Buttevant — I don't know if you know where that is
— at a hurling match between the Croke 's Own Boys and
the Fearless Thurles and by God, Stevie, that was the
hard fight. My first cousin, Fonsy Davin, was stripped
to his buff that day minding cool for the Limericks but
he was up with the forwards half the time and shouting
like mad. I never will forget that day. One of the
Crokes made a woeful wipe at him one time with his
caman and I declare to God he was within an aim's
ace of getting it at the side of his temple. Oh, honest
to God, if the crook of it caught him that time he was
— I am glad he escaped, Stephen had said with a laugh,
but surely that's not the strange thing that happened
— Well, I suppose that doesn't interest you but least-
ways there was such noise after the match that I missed
the train home and I couldn't get any kind of a yoke
to give me a lift for, as luck would have it, there was
a mass meeting that same day over in Castletownroche
and all the cars in the country were there. So there
was nothing for it only to stay the night or to foot it
out. Well, I started to walk and on I went and it was
coming on night when I got into the Ballyhoura Hills,
that's better than ten miles from Kilmallock and there's
a long lonely road after that. You wouldn't see the sign
of a christian house along the road or hear a sound.
It was pitch dark almost. Once or twice I stopped by
the way under a bush to redden my pipe and only for
the dew was thick I 'd have stretched out there and slept.
At last, after a bend of the road, I spied a little cottage
with a light in the window. I went up and knocked at
the door. A voice asked who was there and I answered
I was over at the match in Buttevant and was walking
back and that I'd be thankful for a glass of water.
After a while a young woman opened the door and
brought me out a big mug of milk. She was half un-
dressed as if she was going to bed when I knocked
and she had her hair hanging; and I thought by her
figure and by something in the look of her eyes that she
must be carrying a child. She kept me in talk a long
while at the door and I thought it strange because her
breast and her shoulders were bare. She asked me was
I tired and would I like to stop the night there. She
said she was all alone in the house and that her hus-
band had gone that morning to Queenstown with his
sister to see her off. And all the time she was talking,
Stevie, she had her eyes fixed on my face and she stood
so close to me I could hear her breathing. When I
handed her back the mug at last she took my hand to
draw me in over the threshold and said : ' Come in and
stay the night here. You've no call to he frightened.
There's no one in hut ourselves. . . .' I didn't go in,
Stevie. I thanked her and went on my way again, all in
a fever. At the first bend of the road I looked back and
she was standing at the door.
The last words of Davin's story sang in his memory
and the figure of the woman in the story stood forth,
reflected in other figures of the peasant women whom
he had seen standing in the doorways at Clane as the
college cars drove by, as a type of her race and of his
own, a batlike soul waking to the consciousness of itself
in darkness and secrecy and loneliness and, through the
eyes and voice and gesture of a woman without guile,
calling the stranger to her bed.
A hand was laid on his arm and a young voice cried :
— Ah, gentleman, your own girl, sir ! The first hand-
sel today, gentleman. Buy that lovely bunch. Will
you, gentleman ?
The blue flowers which she lifted towards him and
her young blue eyes seemed to him at that instant
images of guilelessness ; and he halted till the image had
vanished and he saw only her ragged dress and damp
coarse hair and hoydenish face.
— Do, gentleman! Don't forget your own girl, sir!
— I have no money, said Stephen.
— Buy them lovely ones, will you, sir ? Only a penny.
— Did you hear what I said ? asked Stephen, bending
towards her. I told you I had no money. I tell you
— Well, sure, you will some day, sir, please God, the
girl answered after an instant.
— Possibly, said Stephen, but I don't think it likely.
He left her quickly, fearing that her intimacy might
turn to gibing and wishing to be out of the way before
she offered her ware to another, a tourist from England
or a student of Trinity. Grafton Street, along which
he walked, prolonged that moment of discouraged pov-
erty. In the roadway at the head of the street a slab
was set to the memory of Wolfe Tone and he remem-
bered having been present with his father at its laying.
He remembered with bitterness that scene of tawdry
tribute. There were four French delegates in a brake
and one, a plump smiling young man, held, wedged on
a stick, a card on which were printed the words : Vive
But the trees in Stephen's Green were fragrant of
rain and the rainsodden earth gave forth its mortal
odour, a faint incense rising upward through the mould
from many hearts. The soul of the gallant venal city
which his elders had told him of had shrunk with time
to a faint mortal odour rising from the earth and he
knew that in a moment when he entered the sombre
college he would be conscious of a corruption other than
that of Buck Egan and Burnchapel Whaley.
It was too late to go upstairs to the French class. He
crossed the hall and took the corridor to the left which
led to the physics theatre. The corridor was dark and
silent but not unwatchful. Why did he feel that it was
not unwatchful? Was it because he had heard that in
Buck Whaley's time there was a secret staircase there?
Or was the Jesuit house extra-territorial and was he walk-
ing among aliens? The Ireland of Tone and of Parnell
seemed to have receded in space.
He opened the door of the theatre and halted in the
chilly grey light that struggled through the dusty win-
dows. A figure was crouching before the large grate
and by its leanness and greyness he knew that it was
the dean of studies lighting the fire. Stephen closed the
door quietly and approached the fireplace.
— Good morning, sir ! Can I help you ? —
The priest looked up quickly and said :
— One moment now, Mr Dedalus, and you will see.
There is an art in lighting a fire. We have the liberal
arts and we have the useful arts. This is one of the
useful arts. —
— I will try to learn it — said Stephen.
— Not too much coal — said the dean — working
briskly at his task — that is one of the secrets. —
He produced four candle butts from the side pockets
of his soutane and placed them deftly among the coals
and twisted papers. Stephen watched him in silence.
Kneeling thus on the flagstone to kindle the fire and
busied with the disposition of his wisps of paper and
candle butts he seemed more than ever a humble server
making ready the place of sacrifice in an empty temple,
a levite of the Lord. Like a levite's robe of plain linen
the faded worn soutane draped the kneeling figure of
one whom the canonicals or the bellybordered ephod
would irk and trouble. His very body had waxed old
in lowly service of the Lord — in tending the fire upon
the altar, in bearing tidings secretly, in waiting upon
worldlings, in striking swiftly when bid4en — and yet
had remained ungraced by aught of saintly or of prelatic
beauty. Nay, his very soul had waxed old in that serv-
ice without growing towards light and beauty or spread-
ing abroad a sweet odour of her sanctity — a mortified
will no more responsive to the thrill of its obedience than
was to the thrill of love or combat his ageing body, spare
and sinewy, greyed with a silver-pointed down.
The dean rested back on his hunkers and watched the
sticks catch. Stephen, to fill the silence, said :
— I am sure I could not light a fire. —
— You are an artist, are you not, Mr Dedalus ? — said
the dean, glancing up and blinking his pale eyes. — The
object of the artist is the creation of the beautiful. What
the beautiful is is another question. —
He rubbed his hands slowly and drily over the diffi-
— Can you solve that question now ? — he asked.
— Aquinas — answered Stephen — says pulcra sunt
quoe visa placent. —
— This fire before us — said the dean — will be pleas-
ing to the eye. Will it therefore be beautiful ? —
— In so far as it is apprehended by the sight, which
I suppose means here esthetic intellection, it will be
beautiful. But Aquinas also says Bonum est in quod
tendit appetitus. In so far as it satisfies the animal
craving for warmth fire is a good. In hell, however, it is
an evil. —
— Quite so — said the dean — you have certainly hit
the nail on the head. —
He rose nimbly and went towards the door, set it
ajar and said :
— A draught is said to be a help in these matters. —
As he came back to the hearth, limping slightly but
with a brisk step, Stephen saw the silent soul of a Jesuit
look out at him from the pale loveless eyes. Like Igna-
tius he was lame but in his eyes burned no spark of Ig-
natius* enthusiasm. Even the legendary craft of the
company, a craft subtler and more secret than its fabled
books of secret subtle wisdom, had not fired his soul
with the energy of apostleship. It seemed as if he used
the shifts and lore and cunning of the world, as bidden
to do, for the greater glory of God, without joy
in their handling or hatred of that in them which was
evil but turning them, with a firm gesture of obedience,
back upon themselves: and for all this silent service it
seemed as if he loved not at all the master and little,
if at all, the ends he served. Similiter atqiie senis hac-
uJus, he was, as the founder would have had him, like a
staff in an old man's hand, to be leaned on in the road
at nightfall or in stress of weather, to lie with a lady's
nosegay on a garden seat, to be raised in menace.
The dean returned to the hearth and began to stroke
— When may we expect to have something from you
on the esthetic question ? — he asked.
— From me! — said Stephen in astonishment. — I
stumble on an idea once a fortnight if I am lucky. —
— These questions are very profound, Mr Dedalus —
said the dean. — It is like looking down from the cliffs
of ^loher into the depths. Many go down into the
depths and never come up. Only the trained diver can
go down into those depths and explore them and come
to the surface again. —
— If you mean speculation, sir — said Stephen — I
also am sure that there is no such thing as free thinking
inasmuch as all thinking must be bound by its own
— Ha! —
— For my purpose I can work on at present by the
light of one or two ideas of Aristotle and Aquinas. —
— I see. I quite see your point. —
— I need them only for my own use and guidance
until I have done something for myself by their light.
If the lamp smokes or smells I shall try to trim it. If
it does not give light enough I shall sell it and buy
— Epictetus also had a lamp — said the dean — which
was sold for a fancy price after his death. It was the
lamp he wrote his philosophical dissertations by. You
know Epictetus ? —
— An old gentleman — said Stephen coarsely — who
said that the soul is very like a bucketful of water. —
— He tells us in his homely way — the dean went on —
that he put an iron lamp before a statue of one of the
gods and that a thief stole the lamp. What did the
philosopher do? He reflected that it was in the char-
acter of a thief to steal and determined to buy an earthen
lamp next day instead of the iron lamp.—
A smell of molten tallow came up from the dean's
candle butts and fused itself in Stephen's consciousness
with the jingle of the words, bucket and lamp and lamp
and bucket. The priest's voice, too, had a hard jingling
tone. Stephen's mind halted by instinct, checked by
the strange tone and the imagery and by the priest's
face which seemed like an unlit lamp or a reflector
hung in a false focus. What lay behind it or within it ?
A dull torpor of the soul or the dullness of the thunder-
cloud, charged with intellection and capable of the gloom
— I meant a different kind of lamp, sir — said Stephen.
— Undoubtedly — said the dean.
— One difficulty — said Stephen — in esthetic discus-
sion is to know whether words are being used according
to the literary tradition or according to the tradition of
the marketplace. I remember a sentence of Newman's,
in which he says of the Blessed Virgin that she was de-
tained in the full company of the saints. The use of
the word in the marketplace is quite different. / hope
I am not detaining you. —
— Not in the least — said the dean politely.
— No, no — said Stephen, smiling — I mean . . . —
— Yes, yes : I see — said the dean quickly — I quite
catch the point: detain. —
He thrust forward his under jaw and uttered a dry
— To return to the lamp — he said — the feeding of it
is also a nice problem. You must choose the pure oil
and you must be careful when you pour it in not to
overflow it, not to pour in more than the funnel can
— What funnel 1 — asked Stephen.
— The funnel through which yo.u pour the oil into
your lamp. —
— That? — said Stephen. — Is that called a funnel?
Is it not a tundish ? —
— What is a tundish ? —
— That. The . . . the funnel.—
— Is that called a tundish in Ireland? — asked the
dean. — I never heard the word in my life. —
— It is called a tundish in Lower Drumcondra — said
Stephen, laughing — where they speak the best Eng-
— 'A tundish — said the dean reflectively. — That is
a most interesting word. I must look that word up.
Upon my word I must. —
His courtesy of manner rang a little false, and Stephen
looked at the English convert with the same eyes as
the elder brother in the parable may have turned on
the prodigal. A humble follower in the wake of clamor-
ous conversions, a poor Englishman in Ireland, he seemed
to have entered on the stage of Jesuit history when
that strange play of intrigue and suffering and envy and
struggle and indignity had been all but given through —
a late comer, a tardy spirit. From what had he set out 1
Perhaps he had been born and bred among serious dis-
senters, seeing salvation in Jesus only and abhoring the
vain pomps of the establishment. Had he felt the need
of an implicit faith amid the welter of sectarianism and
the jargon of its turbulent schisms, six principal men,
peculiar people, seed and snake baptists, supralapsarian
dogmatists ? Had he found the true church all of a sud-
den in winding up to the end like a reel of cotton some
finespun line of reasoning upon insufflation on the im-
position of hands or the procession of the Holy Ghost?
Or had Lord Christ touched him and bidden him follow,
like that disciple who had sat at the receipt of custom, as
he sat by the door of some zinc roofed chapel, yawning
and telling over his church pence ?
The dean repeated the word yet again.
— Tundish ! Well now, that is interesting ! — ■
— The question you asked me a moment ago seems to
me more interesting. What is that beauty which the
artist struggles to express from lumps of earth — said
The little word seemed to have turned a rapier point
of his sensitiveness against this courteous and vigilant
foe. lie felt with a smart of dejection that the man
to whom he was speaking was a countryman of Ben
Jonson. He thought:
— The language in which we are speaking is his before
it is mine. IIow different are the words home, Christ,
ale, master, on his lips and on mine! I cannot speak
or write these words without unrest of spirit. His
language, so familiar and so foreign, will always be for
me an acquired speech. I have not made or accepted
its words. My voice holds them at bay. My soul frets
in the shadow of his language. —
— And to distinguish between the beautiful and the
sublime — the dean added — to distinguish between
moral beauty and material beauty. And to inquire
what kind of beauty is proper to each of the various
arts. These are some interesting points we might take
Stephen, disheartened suddenly by the dean's firm
dry tone, was silent: and through the silence a distant
noise of many boots and confused voices came up the
— In pursuing these speculations — said the dean
conclusively — there is, however, the danger of perishing
of inanition. First you must take your degree. Set
that before you as your first aim. Then, little by little,
you will see your way. I mean in every sense, your
way in life and in thinking. It may be uphill pedalling
at first. Take Mr Moonan. He was a long time before
he got to the top. But he got there. —
— I may not have his talent — said Stephen quietly.
— You never know — said the dean brightly. — We
never can say what is in us. I most certainly should
not be despondent. Per aspera ad astra. —
He left the hearth quickly and went towards the
landing to oversee the arrival of the first arts' class.
Leaning against the fireplace Stephen heard him greet
briskly and impartially every student of the class and
could almost see the frank smiles of the coarser students.
A desolating pity began to fall like dew upon his easily
embittered heart for this faithful servingman of the
knightly Loyola, for this half brother of the clergy,
more venal than they in speech, more steadfast of soul
than they, one whom he would never call his ghostly
father : and he thought how this man and his companions
had earned the name of worldlings at the hands not of
the unworldly only but of the worldly also for having
pleaded, during all their history, at the bar of God's
justice for the souls of the lax and the lukewarm and the
The entry of the professor was signalled by a few
rounds of Kentish fire from the heavy boots of those
students who sat on the highest tier of the gloomy
theatre under the grey cobwebbed windows. The call-
ing of the roll began, and the responses to the names
were given out in all tones until the name of Peter Byrne
— Here ! —
A deep base note in response came from the upper
tier, followed by coughs of protest along the other
The professor paused in his reading and called the
next name :
— Cranly ! —
— Mr Cranly ! —
A smile flew across Stephen 's face as he thought of his
— Try Leopardstown ! — said a voice from the bench
Stephen glanced up quickly but Moynihan's snoutish
face, outlined on the grey light, was impassive. A
formula was given out. Amid the rustling of the note-
books Stephen turned back again and said :
— Give me some paper for God's sake. —
— Are you as bad as that ? — asked ^loynihan with a
lie tore a sheet from his scribbler and passed it down,
— In case of necessity any layman or woman can do
The formula which he wrote obediently on the sheet
of paper, the coiling and uncoiling calculations of the
professor, the spectrelike symbols of force and velocity
fascinated and jaded Stephen's mind. He had heard
some say that the old professor was an atheist free-
mason. Oh, the grey dull day! It seemed a limbo of
painless patient consciousness through which souls of
mathematicians might wander, projecting long slender
fabrics from plane to plane of ever rarer and paler twi-
light, radiating swift eddies to the last verges of a uni-
verse ever vaster, farther and more impalpable.
— So we must distinguish between elliptical and
ellipsoidal. Perhaps some of you gentlemen may be
familiar with the works of Mr W. S. Gilbert. In one of
his songs he speaks of the billiard sharp who is con-
demned to play:
On a cloth untrue
With a twisted cue
And elliptical billiard halls.
— He means a ball having the form of the ellipsoid
of the principal axes of which I spoke a moment ago. —
Moynihan leaned down towards Stephen's ear and
murmured: — What price ellipsoidal balls! chase me,
ladies, I 'm in the cavalry ! —
His fellow student's rude humour ran like a gust
through the cloister of Stephen's mind, shaking into
gay life limp priestly vestments that hung upon the
walls, setting them to sway and caper in a sabbath of
misrule. The forms of the community emerged from
the gust blown vestments, the dean of studies, the portly
florid bursar with his cap of grey hair, the president,
the little priest with feathery hair who wrote devout
verses, the squat peasant form of the professor of eco-
nomics, the tall form of the young professor of mental
science discussing on the landing a case of conscience
with his class like a giraffe cropping high leafage among
a herd of antelopes, the grave troubled prefect of the
sodality, the plump round headed professor of Italian
with his rogue's eyes. They came ambling and stum-
bling, tumbling and capering, kilting their gowns for leap
frog, holding one another back, shaken with deep false
laughter, smacking one another behind and laugh-
ing at their rude malice, calling to one another by
familiar nicknames, protesting with sudden dignity at
some rough usage, whispering two and two behind their
The professor had gone to the glass cases on the side-
wall, from a shelf of which he took down a set of coils,
blew away the dust from many points and, bearing it
carefully to the table, held a finger on it while he pro-
ceeded with his lecture. He explained that the wires
in modern coils were of a compound called platinoid
lately discovered by F. W. Martino.
lie spoke clearly the initials and surname of the dis-
coverer. Moynihan whispered from behind :
— Good old Fresh Water Martin ! —
— Ask him — Stephen whispered back with weary
humour — if he wants a subject for electrocution. He
can have me. —
Moynihan, seeing the professor bend over the coils,
rose in his bench and, clacking noiselessly the fingers
of his right hand, began to call with the voice of a
slobbering urchin : — Please, teacher ! This boy is after
saying a bad word, teacher. —
— Platinoid — the professor said solemnly — is pre-
ferred to German silver because it has a lower coefficient
of resistance by changes of temperature. The platinoid
wire is insulated and the covering of silk that insulates
it is wound on the ebonite bobbins just where my
finger is. If it were wound single an extra current would
be induced in the coils. The bobbins are saturated in
hot paraffin-wax . . . —
A sharp Ulster voice said from the bench below
— Are we likely to be asked questions on applied
science 1 —
The professor began to juggle gravely with the terms
pure science and applied science. A heavybuilt student,
wearing gold spectacles, stared with some wonder at the
questioner. Moynihan murmured from behind in his
natural voice :
— Isn't MacAlister a devil for his pound of flesh? — ■
Stephen looked down coldly on the oblong skull be-
neath him overgrown with tangled twinecoloured hair.
The voice, the accent, the mind of the questioner offended
him and he allowed the offence to carry him towards wil-
ful unkindness, bidding his mind think that the student 's
father would have done better had he sent his son to
Belfast to study and have saved something on the train
fare by so doing.
The oblong skull beneath did not turn to meet this
shaft of thought and yet the shaft came back to its
bowstring: for he saw in a moment the student's whey
— That thought is not mine — he said to himself
quickly. — It came from the comic Irishman in the bench
behind. Patience. Can you say with certitude by whom
the soul of your race was bartered and its elect be-
trayed — by the questioner or by the mocker ? Patience.
Remember Epictetus. It is probably in his character
to ask such a question at such a moment in such a tone
and to pronounce the word science as a monosyllable. —
The droning voice of the professor continued to wind
itself slowly round and round the coils it spoke of,
doubling, trebling, quadrupling its somnolent energy as
the coil multiplied its ohms of resistance.
Moynihan 's voice called from behind in echo to a dis-
tant bell : ,
— Closing time, gents ! —
The entrance hall was crowded and loud with talk.
On a table near the door were two photographs in frames
and between them a long roll of paper bearing an irregu-
lar tail of signatures. MacCann went briskly to and fro
among the students, talking rapidly, answering rebuffs
and leading one after another to the table. In the inner
hall the dean of studies stood talking to a young pro-
fessor, stroking his chin gravely and nodding his head.
Stephen, cheeked by the crowd at the door, halted
irresolutely. From under the wide falling leaf of a soft
hat Cranly 's dark eyes were watching him.
— Have you signed 1 — Stephen asked.
Cranly closed his long thinlipped mouth, communed
with himself an instant and answered :
— Ego haheo. —
— What is it for? —
— Quodf —
— What is it for? —
Cranly turned his pale face to Stephen and said
blandly and bitterly :
— Per pax universalis. —
Stephen pointed to the Tsar^s photograph and said:
— He has the face of a besotted Christ. —
The scorn and anger in his voice brought Cranly 's
eyes back from a calm survey of the walls of the hall.
— Are you annoyed ? — he asked.
— No — answered Stephen.
— Are you in bad humour? —
— Credo ut vos sanguinarius mendax estis — said
Cranly — quia fades vostra monstrat ut vos in damno
malo humor e estis. —
Moynihan, on his way to the table, said in Stephen's
— MacCann is in tiptop form. Eeady to shed the last
drop. Brand new world. No stimulants and votes for
the bitches. —
Stephen smiled at the manner of this confidence and,
when Moynihan had passed, turned again to meet
— Perhaps you can tell me — he said — why he pours
his soul so freely into my ear. Can you ? —
A dull scowl appeared on Cranly's forehead. He
stared at the table where Moynihan had bent to write
his name on the roll ; and then said flatly :
— A sugar ! —
— Quis est in malo humore — said Stephen — ego aut
Cranly did not take up the taunt. He brooded sourly
on his judgment and repeated with the same flat force :
— A flaming bloody sugar, that 's what lie is ! —
It was his epitaph for all dead friendships and Stephen
wondered whether it would ever be spoken in the same
tone over his memory. The heavy lumpish phrase sank
slowly out of hearing like a stone through a quagmire.
Stephen saw it sink as he had seen many another, feel-
ing its heaviness depress his heart. Cranly 's speech, un-
like that of Davin, had neither rare phrases of Eliza-
bethan English nor quaintly turned versions of Irish
idioms. Its drawl was an echo of the quays of Dublin
given back by a bleak decaying seaport, its energy an
echo of the sacred eloquence of Dublin given back flatly
by a Wicklow pulpit.
The heavy scowl faded from Cranly's face as MacCann
marched briskly towards them from the other side of
— Here you are ! — said MacCann cheerily.
— Here I am! — said Stephen.
— Late as usual. Can you not combine the progres-
sive tendency with a respect for punctuality ? —
— That question is out of order — said Stephen. —
Next business. —
Ilis smiling eyes were fixed on a silver wrapped tablet
of milk chocolate which peeped out of the propagandist 's
breast-pocket. A little ring of listeners closed round to
hear the war of wits. A lean student with olive skin
and lank black hair thrust his face between the two,
glancing from one to the other at each phrase and seem-
ing to try to catch each flying phrase in his open moist
mouth. Cranly took a small grey handball from his
pocket and began to examine it closely, turning it over
— Next business ? — said MacCann. — Hom ! —
He gave a loud cough of laughter, smiled broadly, and
tugged twice at the strawcoloured goatee which hung
from his blunt chin.
— The next business is to sign the testimonial. —
— Will you pay me anything if I sign? — asked
— I thought you were an idealist — said MacCann.
The gipsylike student looked about him and addressed
the onlookers in an indistinct bleating voice.
— By hell, that 's a queer notion. I consider that no-
tion to be a mercenary notion. —
Ilis voice faded into silence. No heed was paid to
his words. He turned his olive face, equine in expres-
sion, towards Stephen, inviting him to speak again.
MacCann began to speak with fluent energy of the
Tsar*s rescript, of Stead, of general disarmament, arbi-
tration in cases of international disputes, of the signs of
the times, of the new humanity and the new gospel of
life which would make it the business of the community
to secure as cheaply as possible the greatest possible hap-
piness of the greatest possible number.
The gipsy student responded to the close of the period
by crying :
— Three cheers for universal brotherhood! —
— Go on, Temple — said a stout ruddy student near
him. — I'll stand you a pint after. —
— I'm a believer in universal brotherhood — said
Temple, glancing about him out of his dark, oval eyes. —
Marx is only a bloody cod. —
Cranly gripped his arm tightly to check his tongue,
smiling uneasily, and repeated :
— Easy, easy, easy ! —
Temple struggled to free his arm but continued, his
mouth flecked by a thin foam :
— Socialism was founded by an Irishman and the
first man in Europe who preached the freedom of thought
was Collins. Two hundred years ago. He denounced
priestcraft, the philosopher of Middlesex. Three cheers
for John Anthony Collins ! —
A thin voice from the verge of the ring replied :
— Pip ! pip ! —
Moynihan murmured beside Stephen 's ear :
— And what about John Anthony 's poor little sister :
Lottie Collins lost her drawers;
Won't you kindly lend her yours?
Stephen laughed and Moynihan, pleased with the re-
sult, murmured again:
— We '11 have five bob each way on John Anthony Col-
— I am waiting for your answer — said MacCann
— The affair doesn't interest me in the least — said
Stephen wearily. — You know that well. AVhy do you
make a scene about it ? —
— Good ! — said MacCann, smacking his lips. — You
are a reactionary, then ? —
— Do you think you impress me — Stephen asked —
when you flourish your wooden sword ? —
— Metaphors! — said MacCann bluntly. — Come to
Stephen blushed and turned aside. MacCann stood his
ground and said with hostile humour :
— Minor poets, I suppose, are above such trivial ques-
tions as the question of universal peace. —
Cranly raised his head and held the handball between
the two students by way of a peaceoffering, saying :
— Pax super totum sanguinarium glohum. —
Stephen, moving away the bystanders, jerked his shoul-
der angrily in the direction of the Tsar's image, say-
— Keep your icon. If you must have a Jesus, let us
have a legitimate Jesus. —
— By hell, that's a good one ! — said the gipsy student
to those about him — that's a fine expression. I like that
expression immensely. —
He gulped down the spittle in his throat as if he were
gulping down the phrase and, fumbling at the peak of
his tweed cap, turned to Stephen, saying :
— Excuse me, sir, what do you mean by that expres-
sion you uttered just now ? —
Feeling himself jostled by the students near him, he
said to them :
— I am curious to know now what he meant by that
He turned again to Stephen and said in a whisper :
— Do you believe in Jes^s? I believe in man. Of
course, I don't know if you believe in man. I admire
you, sir. I admire the mind of man independent of all
religions. Is that your opinion about the mind of
Jesus ? —
— Go on, Temple — said the stout ruddy student, re-
turning, as was his wont, to his first idea — that pint is
waiting for you. —
— He thinks I'm an imbecile — Temple explained to
Stephen — because I'm a believer in the power of
Cranly linked his arms into those of Stephen and his
admirer and said :
— Nos ad manum hallum jocahimus. —
Stephen, in the act of being led away, caught sight of
MacCann's flushed bluntfeatured face.
— My signature is of no account — he said politely. —
You are right to go your way. Leave me to go mine. —
— Dedalus — said MacCann crisply — I believe you're
a good fellow but you have yet to learn the dignity of
altruism and the responsibility of the human indi-
A voice said:
— Intellectual crankery is better out of this movement
than in it. —
Stephen, recognizing the harsh tone of MacAlister's
voice, did not turn in the direction of the voice. Cranly
pushed solemnly through the throng of students, linking
Stephen and Temple like a celebrant attended by his
ministers on his way to the altar.
Temple bent eagerly across Cranly's breast and said:
— Did you hear MacAlister what he said ? That youth
is jealous of you. Did you see that? I bet Cranly
didn't see that. By hell, I saw that at once. —
As they crossed the inner hall the dean of studies was
in the act of escaping from the student with whom he
had been conversing. He stood at the foot of the stair-
case, a foot on the lowest step, his threadbare soutane
gathered about him for the ascent with womanish care,
nodding his head often and repeating :
— Not a doubt of it, Mr Hackett ! Very fine ! Not a
doubt of it ! —
In the middle of the hall the prefect of the college
sodality was speaking earnestly, in a soft querulous voice,
with a boarder. As he spoke he wrinkled a little his
freckled brow, and bit, between his phrases, at a tiny
— I hope the matric men will all come. The first arts
men are pretty sure. Second arts, too. We must make
sure of the newcomers. —
Temple bent again across Cranly, as they were passing
through the doorway, and said in a swift whisper :
— Do you know that he is a married man ? He was
a married man before they converted him. He has a
wife and children somewhere. By hell, I think that 's the
queerest notion I ever heard ! Eh ? —
His whisper trailed off into sly cackling laughter.
The moment they were through the doorway Cranly
seized him rudely by the neck and shook him, saying :
— You flaming floundering fool! I'll take my dying
bible there isn't a bigger bloody ape, do you know, than
you in the whole flaming bloody world ! —
Temple wriggled in his grip, laughing still with sly
content, while Cranly repeated flatly at every rude
— A flaming flaring bloody idiot ! —
They crossed the weedy garden together. The presi-
dent, wrapped in a heavy loose cloak, was coming to-
wards them along one of the walks, reading his office.
At the end of the walk he halted before turning and
raised his eyes. The students saluted, Temple fumbling
as before at the peak of his cap. They walked forward
in silence. As they neared the alley Stephen could hear
the thuds of the players' hands and the wet smacks of
the ball and Davin's voice crying out excitedly at each
The three students halted round the box on which
Davin sat to follow the game. Temple, after a few
moments, sidled across to Stephen and said :
— Excuse me, I wanted to ask you do you believe
that Jean Jacques Rousseau was a sincere man ? —
Stephen laughed outright. Cranly, picking up the
broken stave of a cask from the grass at his feet, turned
swiftly and said sternly :
— Temple, I declare to the living God if you say
another word, do you know, to anybody on any subject
I'll kill you super spottum. —
— He was like you, I fancy — said Stephen — an
emotional man. —
— Blast him, curse him ! — said Cranly broadly. —
Don't talk to him at all. Sure, you might as well be
talking, do you know, to a flaming chamberpot as talk-
ing to Temple. Go home, Temple. For God's sake, go
— I don't care a damn about you, Cranly — answered
Temple, moving out of reach of the uplifted stave and
pointing at Stephen. — He's the only man I see in this
institution that has an individual mind. —
— Institution! Individual! — cried Cranly. — Go
home, blast you, for you 're a hopeless bloody man. —
— I'm an emotional man — said Temple. — That's
quite rightly expressed. And I'm proud that I'm an
He sidled out of the alley, smiling slyly. Cranly
watched him with a blank expressionless face.
— Look at him ! — he said. — Did you ever see such a
go-by-the-wall 1 —
His phrase was greeted by a strange laugh from a
student who lounged against the wall, his peaked cap
down on his eyes. The laugh, pitched in a high key
and coming from a so muscular frame, seemed like the
whinny of an elephant. The student's body shook all
over and, to ease his mirth, he rubbed both his hands
delightedly, over his groins.
— Lynch is awake — said Cranly.
Lynch, for answer, straightened himself and thrust
forward his chest.
— Lynch puts out his chest — said Stephen — as a
criticism of life. —
Lynch smote himself sonorously on the chest and said :
— Who has anything to say about my girth ? —
Cranly took him at the word and the two- began to
tussle. When their faces had flushed with the struggle
they drew apart, panting. Stephen bent down towards
Davin who, intent on the game, had paid no heed to
the talk of the others.
— And how is my little tame goose? — he asked. —
Did he sign, too ? —
Davin nodded and said : — And you, Stevie ? —
Stephen shook his head. — You're a terrible man,
Stevie — said Davin, taking the short pipe from his
mouth — always alone. —
— Now that you have signed the petition for universal
peace — said Stephen — I suppose you will burn that
little copybook I saw in your room. —
As Davin did not answer Stephen began to quote:
— Long pace, fianna ! Right incline, fianna ! Fianna,
by numbers, salute, one, two ! —
— That 's a different question — said Davin. — I 'm an
Irish nationalist, first and foremost. But that's you all
out. You're a born sneerer, Stevie. —
— When you make the next rebellion with hurley-
sticks — said Stephen — and want the indispensable in-
former, tell me. I can find you a few in this college. —
— I can 't understand you — said Davin. — One time I
hear you talk against English literature. Now you talk
against the Irish informers. What with your name and
your ideas . . . are you Irish at all ? —
— Come with me now to the office of arms and I will
show you the tree of my family — said Stephen.
— Then be one of us — said Davin. — Why don't you
leam Irish ? Why did you drop out of the league class
after the first lesson ? —
— You know one reason why — answered Stephen.
Davin tossed his head and laughed.
— Oh, come now — he said. — Is it on account of that
certain young lady and Father Moran? But that's all
in your own mind, Stevie. They were only talking and
Stephen paused and laid a friendly hand upon Davin 's
— Do you remember — he said — when we knew each
other first? The first morning we met you asked me
to show you the way to the matriculation class, putting
a very strong stress on the first syllable. You remem-
ber? Then you used to address the Jesuits as father,
you remember? I ask myself about you: Is he as
innocent as his speech? —
— I 'm a simple person — said Davin. — You know that.
When you told me that night in Ilarcourt Street those
things about your private life, honest to God, Stevie,
I was not able to eat my dinner. I was quite bad. I
was awake a long time that night. Why did you tell
me those things ? —
— Thanks — said Stephen. — You mean I am a
— No — said Davin — but I wish you had not told
A tide began to surge beneath the calm surface of
Stephen 's friendliness.
— This race and this country and this life produced
me — he said. — I shall express myself as I am. —
— Try to be one of us — repeated Davin. — In your
heart you are an Irishman but your pride is too power-
— My ancestors threw off their language and took
another — Stephen said. — They allowed a handful of
foreigners to subject them. Do you fancy I am going
to pay in my own life and person debts they made?
What for? —
— For our freedom — said Davin.
— No honourable and sincere man — said Stephen —
has given up to you his life and his youth and his affec-
tions from the days of Tone to those of Parnell but you
sold him to the enemy or failed him in need or reviled
him and left him for another. And you invite me to
be one of you. I'd see you damned first. —
— They died for their ideals, Stevie — said Davin. —
Our day will come yet, believe me. —
Stephen, following his own thought, was silent for an
— The soul is born — he said vaguely — first in those
moments I told you of. It has a slow and dark birth,
more mysterious than the birth of the body. When the
soul of a man is born in this country there are nets
flung at it to hold it back from flight. You talk to me
of nationality, language, religion. I shall try to fly by
those nets. —
Davin knocked the ashes from his pipe.
— Too deep for me, Stevie — he said. — But a man's
country comes first. Ireland first, Stevie. You can be
a poet or mystic after. —
— Do you know what Ireland is? — asked Stephen
with cold violence. — Ireland is the old sow that eats
her farrow. —
Davin rose from his box and went towards the players,
shaking his head sadly. But in a moment his sadness
left him and he was hotly disputing with Cranly and the
two players who had finished their game. A match of
four was arranged, Cranly insisting, however, that his
ball should be used. He let it rebound twice or thrice
to his hand and struck it strongly and swiftly towards
the base of the alley, exclaiming in answer to its thud :
— Your soul ! —
Stephen stood with Lynch till the score began to rise.
Then he plucked him by the sleeve to come away.
Lynch obeyed, saying :
— Let us eke go, as Cranly has it. —
Stephen smiled at this sidethmst.
They passed back through the garden and out
through the hall where the doddering porter was pinning
up a notice in the frame. At the foot of the steps they
halted and Stephen took a packet of cigarettes from his
pocket and offered it to his companion.
— I know you are poor — he said.
— Damn your yellow insolence — answered Lynch.
This second proof of Lynches culture made Stephen
— It was a great day for European culture — he said
— when you made up your mind to swear in yellow. —
They lit their cigarettes and turned to the |'ight.
After a pause Stephen began :
— Aristotle has not defined pity and terror. I have.
I say . . . —
Lynch halted and said bluntly :
— Stop ! I won 't listen ! I am sick. I was out last
night on a yellow drunk with Iloran and Goggins. —
Stephen went on :
— Pity is the feeling which arrests the mind in the
presence of whatsoever is grave and constant in human
sufferings and unites it with the human sufferer. Terror
is the feeling which arrests the mind in the presence of
whatsoever is grave and constant in human sufferings and
unites it with the secret cause. —
— Repeat — said Lynch.
Stephen repeated the definitions slowly.
— A girl got into a hansom a few days ago — he went
on — in London. She was on her way to meet her
mother whom she had not seen for many years. At the
corner of a street the shaft of a lorry shivered the
window of the hansom in the shape of a star. A long
fine needle of the shivered glass pierced her heart. She
died on the instant. The reporter called it a tragic
death. It is not. It is remote from terror and pity
according to the terms of my definitions.
— The tragic emotion, in fact, is a face looking two
ways, towards terror and towards pity, both of which
are phases of it. You see I use the word arrest. I mean
that the tragic emotion is static. Or rather the dramatic
emotion is. The feelings excited by improper »rt are
kinetic, desire or loathing. Desire urges us to possess,
to go to something; loathing urges us to abandon, to go
from something. The arts which excite them, porno-
graplycal or didactic, are therefore improper arts. The
esthetic emotion (I used the general term) is therefore
static. The mind is arrested and raised above desire
and loathing. —
— You say that art must not excite desire — said
Lynch — I told you that one day I wrote my name in
pencil on the backside of the Venus of Praxiteles in the
Museum. Was that not desire ? —
— I speak of normal natures — said Stephen. — You
also told me that when you were a boy in that charming
Carmelite school you ate pieces of dried cowdung. —
Lynch broke again into a whinny of laughter and
again rubbed both his hands over his groins but without
taking them from his pockets.
— O, I did ! I did ! — he cried.
Stephen turned towards his companion and looked at
him for a moment boldly in the eyes. Lynch, recover-
ing from his laughter, answered his look from his
humbled eyes. The long slender flattened skull beneath
the long pointed cap brought before Stephen's mind the
image of a hooded reptile. The eyes, too, were reptile-
like in glint and gaze. Yet at that instant, humbled
and alert in their look, they were lit by one tiny human
point, the window of a shrivelled soul, poignant and self-
— As for that — Stephen said in polite parenthesis —
we are all animals. I also am an animal. —
— You are — said Lynch.
" — But we are just now in a mental world — Stephen
continued. — The desire and loathing excited by improper
esthetic means are really not esthetic emotions not only
because they are kinetic in character but also because
they are not more than physical. Our flesh shrinks
from what it dreads and responds to the stimulus of
what it desires by a purely reflex action of the nervous
system. Our eyelid closes before we are aware that the
fly is about to enter our eye. —
— Not always — said Lynch critically.
— In the same way — said Stephen — your flesh re-
sponded to the stimulus of a naked statue but it was, I
say, simply a reflex action of the nerves. Beauty ex-
pressed by the artist cannot awaken in us an emotion
which is kinetic or a sensation which is purely physical.
It awakens, or ought to awaken, or induces, or ought to
induce, an esthetic stasis, an ideal pity or an ideal terror,
a stasis called forth, prolonged and at last dissolved by
what I call the rhythm of beauty. —
— WTiat is that exactly ? — asked Lynch.
— Rhythm — said Stephen — is the first formal
esthetic relation of part to part in any esthetic whole
or of an esthetic whole to its part or parts or of any
part to the esthetic whole of which it is a part. —
— If that is rhythm — said Lynch — let me hear what
you call beauty ; and, please remember, though I did eat
a cake of cowdung once, that I admire only beauty. —
Stephen raised his cap as if in greeting. Then, blush-
ing slightly, he laid his hand on Lynch 's thick tweed
— We are right — he said — and the others are wrong.
To speak of these things and to try to understand their
nature and, having understood it, to try slowly and
humbly and constantly to express, to press out again,
from the gross earth or what it brings forth, from sound
and shape and colour which are the prison gates of our
soul, an image of the beauty we have come to under-
stand — that is art. —
They had reached the canal bridge and, turning from
their course, went on by the trees. A crude grey light,
mirrored in the sluggish water, and a smell of wet
branches over their heads seemed to war against the
course of Stephen's thought.
— But you have not answered my question — said
Lynch — What is art? What is the beauty it ex-
presses ? —
— That was the first definition I gave you, you sleepy-
headed wretch — said Stephen — when I began to try to
think out the matter for myself. Do you remember the
night ? Cranly lost his temper and began to talk about
Wicklow bacon. —
— I remember — said Lynch. — He told us about them
flaming fat devils of pigs. —
— Art — said Stephen — is the human disposition of
sensible or intelligible matter for an esthetic end. You
remember the pigs and forgot that. You are a distress-
ing pair, you and Cranly. —
Lynch made a grimace at the raw grey sky and
— If I am to listen to your esthetic philosophy give me
at least another cigarette. I don't care about it. I
don't even care about women. Damn you and damn
everything. I want a job of five hundred a year. You
can't get me one. —
Stephen handed him the packet of cigarettes. Lynch
took the last one that remained, saying simply :
— Proceed ! —
— Aquinas — said Stephen — says that is beautiful the
apprehension of which pleases. —
— I remember that — he said — Fulcra sunt qucB visa
— He uses the word visa — said Stephen — to cover
esthetic apprehensions of all kinds, whether through
sight or hearing or through any other avenue of appre-
hension. This word, though it is vague, is clear enough
to keep away good and evil, which excite desire and loath-
ing. It means certainly a stasis and not a kinesis. How
about the true? It produces also a stasis of the mind.
You would not write your name in pencil across the
hypothenuse of a rightangled triangle. —
— No, — said Lynch — give me the hypothenuse of the
Venus of Praxiteles. —
— Static therefore — said Stephen — Plato, I believe,
said that beauty is the splendour of truth. I don't
think that it has a meaning but the true and the beauti-
ful are akin. Truth is beheld by the intellect which is
appeased by the most satisfying relations of the in-
telligible: beauty is beheld by the imagination which is
appeased by the most satisfying relations of the sensible.
The first step in the direction of truth is to understand
the frame and scope of the intellect itself, to comprehend
the act itself of intellection. Aristotle 's entire system of
philosophy rests upon his book of psychology and that,
I think, rests on his statement that the same attribute
cannot at the same time and in the same connexion
belong to and not belong to the same subject. The first
step in the direction of beauty is to understand the frame
and scope of the imagination, to comprehend the act
itself of esthetic apprehension. Is that clear ? —
— But what is beauty? — asked Lynch impatiently.
— Out with another definition. Something we see and
like ! Is that the best you and Aquinas can do ? —
— Let us take woman — said Stephen.
— Let us take her ! — said Lynch fervently.
— The Greek, the Turk, the Chinese, the Copt, the
Hottentot — said Stephen — all admire a different type
of female beauty. That seems to be a maze out of
which we cannot escape. I see, however, two ways out.
One is this hypothesis: that every physical quality ad-
mired by men in women is in direct connexion with
the manifold functions of women for the propagation of
the species. It may be so. The world, it seems, is
drearier than even you, Lynch, imagined. For my part
I dislike that way out. It leads to eugenics rather than
to esthetic. It leads you out of the maze into a new
gaudy lecture room where MacCann, with one hand on
The Origin of Species and the other hand on the new
testament, tells you that you admired the great flanks
of Venus because you felt that she would bear you burly
offspring and admired her great breasts because you felt
that she would give good milk to her children and
— Then MacCann is a sulphuiyellow liar — said Lynch
— There remains another way out — said Stephen,
— To wit? — said Lynch.
— This hypothesis — Stephen began.
A long dray laden with old iron came round the
corner of sir Patrick Dun's hospital covering the end
of Stephen's speech with the harsh roar of jangled and
rattling metal. Lynch closed his ears and gave out
oath after oath till the dray had passed. Then he turned
on his heel rudely. Stephen turned also and waited for
a few moments till his companion's ill-humour had had
— This hypothesis — Stephen repeated — is the other
way out: that, though the same object may not seem
beautiful to all people, all people who admire a beautiful
object find in it certain relations which satisfy and co-
incide with the stages themselves of all esthetic appre-
hension. These relations of the sensible, visible to you
through one form and to me through another, must be
therefore the necessarj'- qualities of beauty. Now, we
can return to our old friend saint Thomas for another
penny^vorth of wisdom. —
— It amuses me vastly — he said — to hear you quot-
ing him time after time like a jolly round friar. Are
you laughing in your sleeve ? —
— MacAlister — answered Stephen — would call my
esthetic theory applied Aquinas. So far as this side of
esthetic philosophy extends Aquinas will carry me all
along the line. When we come to the phenomena of
artistic conception, artistic gestation and artistic repro-
duction, I require a new terminology and a new personal
— Of course — said Lynch. — After all Aquinas, in
spite of his intellect, was exactly a good round friar.
But you will tell me about the new personal experience
and new terminology some other day. Hurry up and
finish the first part. —
— Who knows? — said Stephen, smiling. — Perhaps
Aquinas would understand me better than you. He was
a poet himself. He wrote a hymn for Maundy Thursday.
It begins with the words Pange lingua gloriosi. They
say it is the highest glory of the hymnal. It is an in-
tricate and soothing hymn. I like it: but there is no
hymn that can be put beside that mournful and majestic
processional song, the Vexilla Regis of Venantius For-
Lynch began to sing softly and solemnly in a deep
Inpleta sunt quce concinit
David fideli carmine
Begnavit a lingo Deus,
— That's great! — he said, well pleased. — Great
music ! —
They turned into Lower Mount Street. A few steps
from the corner a fat young man, wearing a silk neck-
cloth, saluted them and stopped. — Did you hear the
results of the exams. ? — he asked. — Griffin was plucked.
Halpin and O'Flynn are through the home civil.
Moonan got fifth place in the Indian. 'Shaughnessy
got fourteenth. The Irish fellows in Clark's gave them a
feed last night. They all ate curry. —
His pallid bloated face expressed benevolent malice
and, as he had advanced through his tidings of success,
his small fat encircled eyes vanished out of sight and his
weak wheezing voice out of hearing.
In reply to a question of Stephen's his eyes and his
voice came forth again from their lurking places.
— Yes, MacCullagh and I — he said. — He's taking
pure mathematics and I'm taking constitutional history.
There are twenty subjects. I'm taking botany too.
You know I'm a member of the field club. —
He drew back from the other two in a stately fashion
and placed a plump woollen gloved hand on his breast,
from which muttered wheezing laughter at once broke
— Bring us a few turnips and onions the next time you
go out — said Stephen drily — to make a stew. —
The fat student laughed indulgently and said :
— We are all highly respectable people in the field
club. Last Saturday we went out to Glenmalure, seven
of us. —
— With women, Donovan 1 — said Lynch.
Donovan again laid his hand on his chest and said :
— Our end is the acquisition of knowledge. —
Then he said quickly:
— I hear you are writing some essay about esthetics. —
Stephen made a vague gesture of denial.
— Goethe and Lessing — said Donovan — have written
a lot on that subject, the classical school and the romantic
school and all that. The Laocoon interested me very
much when I read it. Of course it is idealistic, German,
ultra profound. —
Neither of the others spoke. Donovan took leave of
— I must go — he said softly and benevolently — I
have a strong suspicion, amounting almost to a convic-
tion, that my sister intended to make pancakes today for
the dinner of the Donovan family. —
— Goodbye — Stephen said in his wake. — Don 't for-
get the turnips for me and my mate. —
Lynch gazed after him, his lip curling in slow scorn
till his face resembled a devil's mask:
— To think that that yellow pancake eating excre-
ment can get a good job — he said at length — and I have
to smoke cheap cigarettes ! —
They turned their faces towards Merrion Square and
went on for a little in silence.
— To finish what I was saying about beauty — said
Stephen — the most satisfying relations of the sensible
must therefore correspond to the necessary phases of
artistic apprehension. Find these and you find the
qualities of universal beauty. Aquinas says: Ad pul-
critudinem tria requiruntur integritas, consona7itia,
claritas. I translate it so : Three things are needed for
beauty, wholeness, harmony and radiance. Do these
correspond to the phases of apprehension? Are you
following ? —
— Of course, I am — said Lynch. — If you think I
have an excrementitious intelligence run after Donovan
and ask him to listen to you. —
Stephen pointed to a basket which a butcher's boy had
slung inverted on his head.
— Look at that basket — he said.
— I see it — said Lynch.
— In order to see that basket — said Stephen — your
mind first of all separates the basket from the rest of the
visible universe which is not the basket. The first
phase of apprehension is a bounding line drawn about the
object to be apprehended. An esthetic image is pre-
sented to us either in space or in time. What is audible
is presented in time, what is visible is presented in space.
But temporal or spatial, the esthetic image is first
luminously apprehended as selfbounded and selfcon-
tained upon the immeasurable background of space or
time which is not it. You apprehended it as one thing.
You see it as one whole. You apprehend its wholeness.
That is integritas. —
— Bull 's eye ! — said Lynch, laughing — Go on. —
— Then — said Stephen — you pass from point to
point, led by its formal lines; you apprehend it as
balanced part against part within its limits; you feel
the rhythm of its structure. In other words, the syn-
thesis of immediate perception is followed by the analysis
of apprehension. Having first felt that it is one thing
you feel now that it is a thing. You apprehend it as
complex, multiple, divisible, separable, made up of its
parts, the result of its parts and their sum, harmonious.
That is consonantia. —
— Bull's eye again! — said Lynch wittily. — Tell me
now what is claritas and you win the cigar. —
— The connotation of the word — Stephen said — is
rather vague. Aquinas uses a term which seems to be
inexact. It bafiQed me for a long time. It would lead
you to believe that he had in mind symbolism or idealism,
the supreme quality of beauty being a light from some
other world, the idea of which the matter was but the
shadow, the reality of which it w^as but the symbol.
I thought he might mean that claritas was the artistic
discovery and representation of the divine purpose in
anything or a force of generalization which would make
the esthetic image a universal one, make it outshine
its proper conditions. But that is literary talk. I un-
derstand it so. When you have apprehended that basket
as one thing and have then analysed it according to its
form and apprehended it as a thing you make the only
synthesis which is logically and esthetically permissible.
You see that it is that thing which it is and no other
thing. The radiance of which he speaks in the scholastic
quidditas, the whatness of a thing. This supreme quality
is felt by the artist when the esthetic image is first con-
ceived in his imagination. The mind in that mysterious
instant Shelley likened beautifully to a fading coal. The
instant wherein that supreme quality of beauty, the
clear radiance of the esthetic image, is apprehended
luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its
wholeness and fascinated by its harmony is the luminous
silent stasis of esthetic pleasure, a spiritual state very
like to that cardiac condition which the Italian physi-
ologist Luigi Galvani, using a phrase almost as beautiful
as Shelley's, called the enchantment of the heart. —
Stephen paused and, though his companion did not
speak, felt that his words had called up around them a
thought enchanted silence.
— What I have said — he began again — refers to
beauty in the wider sense of the word, in the sense which
the word has in the literary tradition. In the market
place it has another sense. When we speak of beauty in
the second sense of the term our judgment is influenced
in the first place by the art itself and by the form of that
art. The image, it is clear, must be set between the
mind or senses of the artist himself and the mind or
senses of others. If you bear this in memory you will see
that art necessarily divides itself into three forms pro-
gressiiig from one to the next. These forms are: the
lyrical form, the form wherein the artist presents his
image in immediate relation to himself; the epical form,
the form wherein he presents his image in mediate rela-
tion to himself and to others; the dramatic form, the
form wherein he presents his image in immediate rela-
tion to others. —
— That you told me a few nights ago — said Lynch —
and we began the famous discussion. —
— I have a book at home — said Stephen — in which I
have written down questions which are more amusing
than yours were. In finding the answers to them I found
the theory of the esthetic which I am trying to explain.
Here are some questions I set myself: Is a chair finely
made tragic or comic f Is the portrait of Mona Lisa good
if I desire to see itf Is the bust of Sir Philip Crampton
lyrical, epical or dramatic f If not, why not? —
— Why not, indeed ? — said Lynch, laughing.
— If a man hacking in fury at a block of wood —
Stephen continued — make there an image of a cow, is
that image a work of artf If not, why not? —
— That 's a lovely one — said Lynch, laughing again. —
That has the true scholastic stink. —
— Lessing — said Stephen — should not have taken a
group of statues to write of. The art, being inferior,
does not present the forms I spoke of distinguished
clearly one from another. Even in literature, the highest
and most spiritual art, the forms are often confused.
The lyrical form is in fact the simplest verbal vesture of
an instant of emotion, a rhythmical cry such as ages ago
cheered on the man who pulled at the oar or dragged
stones up a slope. He who utters it is more conscious of
the instant of emotion than of himself as feeling emotion.
The simplest epical form is seen emerging out of lyrical
literature when the artist prolongs and broods upon
himself as the centre of an epical event and this form
progresses till the centre of emotional gravity is equi-
distant from the artist himself and from others. The
narrative is no longer purely personal. The personality
of the artist passes into the narration itself, flowing
round and round the persons and the action like a vital
sea. This progress you will see easily in that old English
ballad Turpin Hero, which begins in the first person
and ends in the third person. The dramatic form is
reached when the vitality which has flowed and eddied
round each person fills every person with such vital force
that he or she assumes a proper and intangible esthetic
life. The personality of the artist, at first a cry or a
cadence or a mood and then a fluid and lambent narrative,
finally refines itself out of existence, impersonalizes itself,
so to speak. The esthetic image in the dramatic form
is life purified in and reprojected from the human imagi-
nation. The mystery of esthetic like that of material
creation is accomplished. The artist, like the God of
the creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above
his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, in-
different, paring his fingernails. —
— Trying to refine them also out of existence — said
A fine rain began to fall from the high veiled sky and
they turned into the duke's lawn, to reach the national
library before the shower came.
— What do you mean — Lynch asked surlily — by
prating about beauty and the imagination in this miser-
able God forsaken island ? No wonder the artist retired
within or behind his handiwork after having perpetrated
this country. —
The rain fell faster. When they passed through the
passage beside the royal Irish academy they found many
students sheltering under the arcade of the library.
Cranly, leaning against a pillar, was picking his teeth
with a sharpened match, listening to some companions.
Some girls stood near the entrance door. Lynch whis-
pered to Stephen :
— Your beloved is here. —
Stephen took his place silently on the step below the
group of students, heedless of the rain which fell fast,
turning his eyes towards her from time to time. She
too stood silently among her companions. She has no
priest to flirt with, he thought with conscious bitterness,
remembering how he had seen her last. Lynch was
right. His mind, emptied of theory and courage, lapsed
back into a listless peace.
He heard the students talking among themselves.
They spoke of two friends who had passed the final medi-
cal examination, of the chances of getting places on
ocean liners, of poor and rich practices.
— That^s all a bubble. An Irish country practice is
— Hynes was two years in Liverpool and he says the
same. A frightful hole he said it was. Nothing but
midwifery cases. —
— Do you mean to say it is better to have a job here
in the country than in a rich city like that? I know a
fellow . . . —
— Hynes has no brains. He got through by stewing,
pure stewing. —
— Don't mind him. There's plenty of money to be
made in a big commercial city. —
— Depends on the practice. —
— Ego credo ut vita pauperum est simpliciter atrox,
simpUciter sanguinarius atrox, in Liverpoolio. —
Their voices reached his ears as if from a distance in
interrupted pulsation. She was preparing to go away
with her companions.
The quick light shower had drawn off, tarrying in
clusters of diamonds among the shrubs of the quadrangle
where an exhalation was breathed forth by the blackened
earth. Their trim boots prattled as they stood on the
steps of the colonnade, talking quietly and gaily, glanc-
ing at the clouds, holding their umbrellas at cunning
angles against the few last raindrops, closing them
again, holding their skirts demurely.
And if he had judged her harshly ? If her life were a
simple rosary of hours, her life simple and strange as a
bird's life, gay in the morning, restless all day, tired
at sundown? Her heart simple and wilful as a bird's
* # # #
Towards dawn he awoke. what sweet music ! His
soul was all dewy wet. Over his limbs in sleep pale
cool waves of light had passed. He lay still, as if his soul
lay amid cool waters, conscious of faint sweet music.
His mind was waking slowly to a tremulous morning
knowledge, a morning inspiration. A spirit filled him,
pure as the purest water, sweet as dew, moving as music.
But how faintly it was inbreathed, how passionlessly,
as if the seraphim themselves were breathing upon him !
His soul was waking slowly, fearing to awake wholly.
It was that windless hour of dawn when madness wakes
and strange plants open to the light and the moth flies
An enchantment of the heart! The night had been
enchanted. In a dream or vision he had known the
ecstasy of seraphic life. Was it an instant of enchant-
ment only or long hours and years and ages?
The instant of inspiration seemed now to be reflected
from all sides at once from a multitude of cloudy cir-
cumstances of what had happened or of what might
have happened. The instant flashed forth like a point
of light and now from cloud on cloud of vague circum-
stance confused form was veiling softly its afterglow.
0! In the virgin womb of the imagination the word
was made flesh. Gabriel the seraph had come to the
virgin's chamber. An afterglow deepened within his
spirit, whence the white flame had passed, deepening to
a rose and ardent light. That rose and ardent light was
her strange wilful heart, strange that no man had known
or would know, wilful from before the beginning of the
world : and lured by that ardent roselike glow the choirs
of the seraphim were falling from heaven.
Are you not weary of ardent ways,
Lure of the fallen seraphim f
Tell no more of enchanted days.
The verses passed from his mind to his lips and, mur-
muring them over, he felt the rhythmic movement of a
villanelle pass through them. The roselike glow sent
forth its rays of rhjrme ; ways, days, blaze, praise, raise.
Its rays burned up the world, consumed the hearts of
men and angels: the rays from the rose that was her
Your eyes have set man^s heart ablaze
And you have had your will of him.
Are you not weary of ardent ways?
And then? The rhythm died away, ceased, began
again to move and beat. And then? Smoke, incense
ascending from the altar of the world.
Ahove the flame the smoke of praise
Goes up from ocean rim to rim
Tell no more of enchanted days.
Smoke went up from the whole earth, from the
vapoury oceans, smoke of her praise. The earth was
like a swinging swaying censer, a ball of incense, an
ellipsoidal ball. The rhythm died out at once; the cry
of his heart was broken. His lips began to murmur the
first verses over and over; then went on stumbling
through half verses, stammering and baffled; then
stopped. The heart 's cry was broken.
The veiled windless hour had passed and behind the
panes of the naked window the morning light was
gathering. A bell beat faintly very far away. A bird
twittered; two birds, three. The bell and the bird
ceased: and the dull white light spread itself east and
west, covering the world, covering the roselight in his
Fearing to lose all, he raised himself suddenly on his
elbow to look for paper and pencil. There was neither
on the table; only the soup plate he had eaten the rice
from for supper and the candlestick with its tendrils of
tallow and its paper socket, singed by the last flame.
He stretched his arm wearily towards the foot of the
bed, groping with his hand in the pockets of the coat
that hung there. His fingers found a pencil and then
a cigarette packet. He lay back and, tearing open the
packet, placed the last cigarette on the window ledge
and began to write out the stanzas of the villanelle in
small neat letters on the rough cardboard surface.
Having written them out he lay back on the lumpy
pillow, murmuring them again. The lumps of knotted
flock under his head reminded him of the lumps of
knotted horsehair in the sofa of her parlour on which he
used to sit, smiling or serious, asking himself why he
had come, displeased with her and with himself, con-
founded by the print of the Sacred Heart above the
untenanted sideboard. He saw her approach him in a
lull of the talk and beg him to sing one of his curious
songs. Then he saw himself sitting at the old piano,
striking chords softly from its speckled keys and sing-
ing, amid the talk which had risen again in the room,
to her who leaned beside the mantelpiece a dainty song
of the Elizabethans, a sad and sweet loth to depart, the
victory chant of Agincourt, the happy air of Green-
sleeves. While he sang and she listened, or feigned to
listen his heart was at rest but when the quaint old
songs had ended and he heard again the voices in the
room he remembered his owti sarcasm: the house where
young men are called by their christian names a little
At certain instants her eyes seemed about to trust him
but he had waited in vain. She passed now dancing
lightly across his memory as she had been that night
at the carnival ball, her white dress a little lifted, a
white spray nodding in her hair. She danced lightly
in the round. She was dancing towards him and, as she
came, her eyes were a little averted and a faint glow
was on her cheek. At the pause in the chain of hands
her hand had lain in his an instant, a soft merchandise.
— You are a great stranger now. —
— Yes. I was born to be a monk. —
— I am afraid you are a heretic. —
— Are you much afraid ? —
For answer she had danced away from him along the
chain of hands, dancing lightly and discreetly, giving
herself to none. The white spray nodded to her dancing
and when she was in shadow the glow was deeper on
A monk ! His own image started forth a prof aner of
the cloister, a heretic Franciscan, willing and willing
not to serve, spinning like Gherardino da Borgo San
Donnino, a lithe web of sophistry and whispering in her
No, it was not his image. It was like the image of
the young priest in whose company he had seen her
last, looking at him out of dove's eyes, toying with the
pages of her Irish phrasebook.
— Yes, yes, the ladies are coming round to us. I can
see it every day. The ladies are with us. The best
helpers the language has. —
— And the church, Father Moran ? —
— The church too. Coming round too. The work is
going ahead there too. Don't fret about the church. —
Bah! he had done well to leave the room in disdain.
He had done well not to salute her on the steps of the
library. He had done well to leave her to flirt with her
priest, to toy with a church which was the scuUery-maid
Rude brutal anger routed the last lingering instant of
ecstasy from his soul. It broke up violently her fair
image and flung the fragments on all sides. On all sides
distorted reflections of her image started from his
memory : the flower girl in the ragged dress with damp
coarse hair and a hoyden's face who had called herself
his own girl and begged his handsel, the kitchen-girl in
the next house who sang over the clatter of her plates,
with the drawl of a country singer, the first bars of
By Killarney's Lakes and Fells, a girl who had laughed
gaily to see him stumble when the iron grating in the
footpath near Cork Hill had caught the broken sole of
his shoe, a girl he had glanced at, attracted by her small
ripe mouth as she passed out of Jacob's biscuit factory,
who had cried to him over her shoulder :
— Do you like what you seen of me, straight hair and
curly eyebrows ? —
And yet he felt that, however he might revile and
mock her image, his anger was also a form of homage.
He had left the classroom in disdain that was not wholly
sincere, feeling that perhaps the secret of her race lay
behind those dark eyes upon which her long lashes flung
a quick shadow. He had told himself bitterly as he
walked through the streets that she was a figure of the
womanhood of her country, a batlike soul waking to the
consciousness of itself in darkness and secrecy and lone-
liness, tarrying awhile, loveless and sinless, with her mild
lover and leaving him to whisper of innocent transgres-
sions in the latticed ear of a priest. His anger against
her found vent in coarse railing at her paramour, whose
name and voice and features offended his baffled pride:
a priested peasant, with a brother a policeman in Dublin
and a brother a potboy in Moycullen. To him she would
unveil her soul's shy nakedness, to one who was but
schooled in the discharging of a formal rite rather than
to him, a priest of the eternal imagination, transmuting
the daily bread of experience into the radiant body of
The radiant image of the eucharist united again in an
instant his > bitter and despairing thoughts, their cries
arising unbroken in a hymn of thanksgiving.
Our broken cries and mournful lays
Rise in one eucharistic hymn
Are you not weary of ardent ways?
While sacrificing hands upraise
The chalice flowing to the hrim
Tell no more of enchanted days.
He spoke the verses aloud from the first lines till the
music and rhythm suffused his mind, turning it to
quiet indulgence; then copied them painfully to feel
them the better by seeing them; then lay back on his
The full morning light had come. No sound was to
be heard: but he knew that all around him life was
about to awaken in common noises, hoarse voices, sleepy
prayers. Shrinking from that life he turned towards
the wall, making a cowl of the blanket and staring at the
great overblown scarlet flowers of the tattered wallpaper.
He tried to warm his perishing joy in their scarlet glow,
imaging a roseway from where he lay upwards to heaven
all strewn with scarlet flowers. Weary! Weary! He
too was weary of ardent ways.
A gradual warmth, a languorous weariness passed
over him, descending along his spine from his closely
cowled head. He felt it descend and, seeing himself as
he la^, smiled. Soon he would sleep,
He had written verses for her again after ten years.
Ten years before she had worn her shawl cowlwise
about her head, sending sprays of her warm breath into
the night air, tapping her foot upon the glassy road.
It was the last tram; the lank brown horses knew it
and shook their bells to the clear night in admonition.
The conductor talked with the driver, both nodding often
in the green light of the lamp. They stood on the steps
of the tram, he on the upper, she on the lower. She
came up to his step many times between their phrases
and went down again and once or twice remained beside
him forgetting to go down and then went down. Let be !
Let be !
Ten years from that wisdom of children to his folly.
If he sent her the verses? They would be read out at
breakfast amid the tapping of eggshells. Folly indeed !
Her brothers would laugh and try to wrest the page
from each other with their strong hard fingers. The
suave priest, her uncle, seated in his armchair would
hold the page at arm's length, read it smiling and ap-
prove of the literary form.
No, no : that was folly. Even if he sent her the verses
she would not show them to others. No, no: she could
He began to feel that he had wronged her. A sense
of her innocence moved him almost to pity her, an
innocence he had never understood till he had come to
the knowledge of it through sin, an innocence which
she too had not understood while she was innocent or
before the strange humiliation of her nature had first
come upon her. Then first her soul had begun to live
as his soul had when he had first sinned : and a tender
compassion filled his heart as he remembered her frail
pallor and her eyes, humbled and saddened by the dark
shame of womanhood.
While his soul had passed from ecstasy to lan^or
where had she been? Might it be, in the mysterious
ways of spiritual life, that her soul at those same
moments had been conscious of his homage? It might
A glow of desire kindled again his soul and fired and
fulfilled all his body. Conscious of his desire she was
waking from odorous sleep, the temptress of his villanelle.
Her eyes, dark and with a look of languor, were opening
to his eyes. Her nakedness yielded to him, radiant,
warm odorous and lavish limbed, enfolded him like a
shining cloud, enfolded him like water with a liquid
life : and like a cloud of vapour or like waters circum-
fluent in space the liquid letters of speech, symbols of
the element of mystery, flowed forth over his brain.
Are you not weary of ardent ways,
Lure of the fallen seraphim?
Tell no more of enchanted days.
Your eyes have set man's heart ablaze
And you have had your will of him.
Are you not weary of ardent ways?
Above the flame the smoke of praise
Goes up from ocean rim to rim.
Tell no more of enchanted days.
OHir broken cries and mournful lays
Rise in one eucharistic hymn.
Are you not weary of ardent ways?
While sacrificing hands upraise
The chalice flowing to the hrim.
Tell no more of enchanted days.
And still you hold our longing gaze
With languorous look and lavish limb!
Are you not weary of ardent ways?
Tell no more of enchanted days.
What birds were they ? He stood on the steps of the
library to look at them, leaning wearily on his ashplant.
They flew round and round the jutting shoulder of a
house in Molesworth Street. The air of the late March
evening made clear their flight, their dark darting quiv-
ering bodies flying clearly against the sky as against a
limp hung cloth of smoky tenuous blue.
He watched their flight ; bird after bird : a dark flash,
a swerve, a flutter of wings. He tried to count them
before all their darting quivering bodies passed: Six,
ten, eleven: and wondered were they odd or even in
number. Twelve, thirteen : for two came wheeling down
from the upper sky. They were flying high and low but
ever round and round in straight and curving lines and
ever flying from left to right, circling about a temple
He listened to the cries: like the squeak of mice be-
hind the wainscot : a shrill twofold note. But the notes
were long and shrill and whirring, unlike the cry of
vermin, falling a third or a fourth and trilled as the
flying beaks clove the air. Their cry was shrill and
clear and fine and falling like threads of silken light
unwound from whirring spools.
The inhuman clamour soothed his ears in which his
mother's sobs and reproaches murmured insistently and
the dark frail quivering bodies wheeling and fluttering
and swerving round an airy temple of the tenuous sky
soothed his eyes which still saw the image of his mother's
Why was he gazing upwards from the steps of the
porch, hearing their shrill twofold cry, watching their
flight? For an augury of good or evil? A phrase
of Cornelius Agrippa flew through his mind and then
there flew hither and thither shapeless thoughts from
Swedenborg on the correspondence of birds to things
of the intellect and of how the creatures of the air have
their knowledge and know their times and seasons be-
cause they, unlike man, are in the order of their life
and have not perverted that order by reason.
And for ages men had gazed upward as he was gazing
at birds in flight. The colonnade above him made him
think vaguely of an ancient temple and the ashplant
on which he leaned w^earily of the curved stick of an
augur. A sense of fear of the unknown moved in the
heart of his weariness, a fear of symbols and portents,
of the hawklike man whose name he bore soaring out of
his captivity on osier woven wings, of Thoth, the god
of writers, writing with a reed upon a tablet and bearing
on his narrow ibis head the cusped moon.
He smiled as he thought of the god's image, for it
made him think of a bottle-nosed judge in a wig, putting
commas into a document which he held at arm's length
and he knew that he would not have remembered the
god's name but that it was like an Irish oath. It was
folly. But was it for this folly that he was about to
leave for ever the house of prayer and prudence into
which he had been bom and the order of life out of
which he had come?
They came back with shrill cries over the jutting
shoulder of the house, flying darkly against the fading
air. What birds were they 1 He thought that they must
be swallows who had come back from the south. Then
he was to go away ? for they were birds ever going and
coming, building ever an unlasting home under the eaves
of men's houses and ever leaving the homes they had
built to wander.
Bend down your faces, Oona and Aleel,
I gaze upon them as the swallow gazes
Upon the nest under the eave before
He wander the loud waters,
A soft liquid joy like the noise of many waters flowed
over his memory and he felt in his heart the soft peace
of silent spaces of fading tenuous sky above the waters,
of oceanic silence, of swallows flying through the seadusk
over the flowing waters.
A soft liquid joy flowed through the words where the
soft long vowels hurtled noiselessly and fell away,
lapping and flowing back and ever shaking the white
bells of their waves in mute chime and mute peal and
soft low swooning cry; and he felt that the augury
he had sought in the wheeling darting birds and in the
pale space of sky above him had come forth from his
heart like a bird from a turret quietly and swiftly.
Symbol of departure or of loneliness? The verses
crooned in the ear of his memory composed slowly before
his remembering eyes the scene of the hall on the night
of the opening of the national theatre. He was alone
at the side of the balcony, looking out of jaded eyes at
the culture of Dublin in the stalls and at the tawdry
scenecloths and human dolls framed by the garish lamps
of the stage. A burly policeman sweated behind him
and seemed at every moment about to act. The catcalls
and hisses and mocking cries ran in rude gusts round the
hall from his scattered fellow students.
— A libel on Ireland ! —
— Made in Germany —
— Blasphemy ! —
— We never sold our faith ! —
— No Irish woman ever did it! —
— We want no amateur atheist. —
— We want no budding buddhists. —
A sudden swift hiss fell from the windows above him
and he knew that the electric lamps had been switched
on in the reader's room. He turned into the pillared
hall, now calmly lit, went up the staircase and passed
in through the clicking turnstile.
Cranly was sitting over near the dictionaries. A thick
book, opened at the frontispiece, lay before him on the
wooden rest. He leaned back in his chair, inclining his
ear like that of a confessor to the face of the medical
student who was reading to him a problem from the
chess page of a journal. Stephen sat down at his right
and the priest at the other side of the table closed his
copy of The Tablet with an angry snap and stood up.
Cranly gazed after him blandly and vaguely. The
medical student went on in a softer voice :
— Pawn to king's fourth. —
— We had better go, Dixon — said Stephen in warn-
ing. — He has gone to complain. —
Dixon folded the journal and rose with dignity, say-
— Our men retired in good order. —
— With guns and cattle — added Stephen, pointing to
the titlepage of Cranly 's book on which was written Dis-
eases of the Ox.
As they passed through a lane of the tables Stephen
— Cranly, I want to speak to you. —
Cranly did not answer or turn. He laid his book on
the counter and passed out, his well shod feet sounding
flatly on the floor. On the staircase he paused and
gazing absently at Dixon repeated :
— Pawn to king's bloody fourth. —
— Put it that way if you like — Dixon said.
He had a quiet toneless voice and urbane manners
and on a finger of his plump clean hand he displayed at
moments a signet ring.
As they crossed the hall a man of dwarfish stature
came towards them. Under the dome of his tiny hat
his unshaven face began to smile with pleasure and he
was heard to murmur. The eyes were melancholy as
those of a monkey.
— Good evening, gentlemen — said the stubble grown
— Warm weather for March — said Cranly. — They
have the windows open upstairs. —
Dixon smiled and turned his ring. The blackish
monkey puckered face pursed its human mouth with
gentle pleasure and its voice purred :
— Delightful weather for March. Simply delight-
— There are two nice young ladies upstairs, captain,
tired of waiting — Dixon said.
Cranly smiled and said kindly :
— The captain has only one love: sir Walter Scott.
Isn't that so, captain? —
— What are you reading now, captain? — Dixon
asked. — The Bride of Lammermoorf —
— I love old Scott — the flexible lips said — I think
he writes something lovely. There is no writer can
touch sir Walter Scott. —
He moved a thin shrunken brown hand gently in the
air in time to his praise and his thin quick eyelids beat
often over his sad eyes.
Sadder to Stephen's ear was his speech: a genteel ac-
cent, low and moist, marred by errors: and, listening
to it, he wondered was the story true and was the thin
blood that flowed in his shrunken frame noble and come
of an incestuous love ?
The park trees were heavy with rain and rain fell
still and ever in the lake, lying grey like a shield. A
game of swans flew there and the water and the shore
beneath were fouled with their greenwhite slime. They
embraced softly impelled by the grey rainy light, the
wet silent trees, the shield like witnessing lake, the
swans. They embraced without joy or passion, his
arm about his sister's neck. A grey woollen cloak was
wrapped athwart her from her shoulder to her waist:
and her fair head was bent in willing shame. He had
loose redbrown hair and tender shapely strong freckled
hands. Face? There was no face seen. The brother's
face was bent upon her fair rain fragrant hair. The
hand freckled and strong and shapely and caressing
was Davin's hand.
He frowned angrily upon his thought and on the
shrivelled mannikin who had called it forth. His
father's gibes at the Bantry gang leaped out of his
memory. He held them at a distance and brooded un-
easily on his own thought again. Why were they not
Cranly's hands? Had Davin's simplicity and innocence
stung him more secretly ?
He walked on across the hall with Dixon, leaving
Cranly to take leave elaborately of the dwarf.
Under the colonnade Temple was standing in the midst
of a little group of students. One of them cried :
— Dixon, come over till you hear. Temple is in grand
Temple turned on him his dark gipsy eyes.
— You 're a hypocrite, 'Keeffe — he said. — And
Dixon is a smiler. By hell, I think that *s a good literary
He laughed slily, looking in Stephen's face, repeat-
— By hell, I 'm delighted with that name. A smiler. —
A stout student who stood below them on the steps
— Come back to the mistress. Temple. We want to
hear about that. —
— He had, faith — Temple said. — And he was a mar-
ried man too. And all the priests used to be dining
there. By hell, I think they all had a touch. —
— We shall call it riding a hack to spare the hunter —
— Tell us. Temple — 'Keeffe said — how many
quarts of porter have you in you ? —
— All your intellectual soul is in that phrase, 'Keeffe
— said Temple with open scorn.
He moved with a shambling gait round the group and
spoke to Stephen.
— Did you know that the Forsters are the kings of
Belgium ? — he asked.
Cranly came out through the door of the entrance
hall, his hat thrust back on the nape of his neck and pick-
ing his teeth with care.
— And here's the wiseacre — said Temple. — Do you
know that about the Forsters ? —
He paused for an answer. Cranly dislodged a fig seed
from his teeth on the point of his rude toothpick and
gazed at it intently.
— The Forster family — Temple said — is descended
from Baldwin the First, king of Flanders. He was
called the Forester. Forester and Forster, are the same
name. A descendant of Baldwin the First, captain
Francis Forster, settled in Ireland and married the
daughter of the last chieftain of Clanbrassil. Then there
are the Blake Forsters. That's a different branch. —
— From Baldhead, king of Flanders. — Cranly re-
peated, rooting again deliberately at his gleaming uncov-
— Where did you pick up all that history ? — 'Keeffe
— I know all the history of your family too — Temple
said, turning to Stephen. — Do you know what Giraldus
Cambrensis says about your family ? —
— Is he descended from Baldwin too ? — asked a tall
consumptive student with dark eyes.
— Baldhead — Cranly repeated, sucking at a crevice
in his teeth.
— Perndhilis et pervetusta familia — Temple said to
The stout student who stood below them on the steps
farted briefly. Dixon turned towards him saying in a
soft voice :
— Did an angel speak?
Cranly turned also and said vehemently but without
— Goggins, you're the flamingest dirty devil I ever
met, do you know. —
— I had it on my mind to say that — Goggins an-
swered firmly. — It did no one any harm, did it ? —
— We hope — Dixon said suavely — that it was not
of the kind known to science as a paulo post futurum. —
— Didn't I tell you he was a smiler? — said Temple,
turning right and left. — Didn't I give him that name? —
— You did. We're not deaf — said the tall consump-
Cranly still frowned at the stout student below him.
Then, with a snort of disgust, he shoved him violently
down the steps.
— Go away from here — he said rudely. — Go away,
you stinkpot. And you are a stinkpot. —
Goggins skipped down on to the gravel and at once
returned to his place with good humour. Temple turned
back to Stephen and asked :
— Do you believe in the law of heredity ? —
— Are you drunk or what are you or what are you try-
ing to say ? — asked Cranly, facing round on him with an
expression of wonder.
— The most profound sentence ever written — Temple
said with enthusiasm — is the sentence at the end of the
zoology. Reproduction is the beginning of death. —
He touched Stephen timidly at the elbow and said
— Do you feel how profound that is because you are a
poet ? —
Cranly pointed his long forefinger.
— Look at him ! — he said with scorn to the others —
Look at Ireland's hope ! —
They laughed at his words and gesture. Temple
turned on him bravely, saying :
— Cranly, you're always sneering at me. I can seen
that. But I am as good as you any day. Do you know
what I think about you now as compared with myself ? —
— My dear man — said Cranly urbanely — you are
incapable, do you know, absolutely incapable of think-
— But do you know — Temple went on — what I think
of you and of myself compared together? —
— Out with it, Temple ! — the stout student cried from
the steps. — Get it out in bits ! —
Temple turned right and left, making sudden feeble
gestures as he spoke.
— I'm a ballocks — he said, shaking his head in de-
spair — I am and I know am. And I admit it that I
Dixon patted him lightly on the shoulder and said
— And it does you every credit, Temple. —
— But he — Temple said, pointing to Cranly — he is a
ballocks, too, like me. Only he doesn't know it. And
that's the only difference, I see. —
A burst of laughter covered his words. But he turned
again to Stephen and said with a sudden eagerness :
— That word is a most interesting word. That 's the
only English dual number. Did you know ? —
■ — Is it ? — Stephen said vaguely.
He was watching Cranly's firm featured suffering
face, lit up now by a smile of false patience. The gross
name had passed over it like foul water poured over
an old stone image, patient of injuries: and, as he
watched him, he saw him raise his hat in salute and un-
cover the black hair that stood up stiflfly from his fore-
head like an iron crown.
She passed out from the porch of the library and
bowed across Stephen in reply to Cranly's greeting.
He also? Was there not a slight flush on Cranly's
cheek ? Or had it come forth at Temple 's words ? The
light had waned. He could not see.
Did that explain his friend's listless silence, his harsh
comments, the sudden intrusions of rude speech with
which he had shattered so often Stephen's ardent way-
ward confessions? Stephen had forgiven freely for he
had found this rudeness also in himself. And he remem-
bered an evening when he had dismounted from a bor-
rowed creaking bicycle to pray to God in a wood near
Malahide. He had lifted up his arms and spoken in
ecstasy to the sombre nave of the trees, knowing that he
stood on holy ground and in a holy hour. And when
two constabulary men had come into sight round a bend
in the gloomy road he had broken off his prayer to
whistle loudly an air from the last pantomime.
He began to beat the frayed end of his ashplant against
the base of a pillar. Had Cranly not heard him? Yet
he could wait. The talk about him ceased for a moment :
and a soft hiss fell again from a window above. But no
other sound was in the air and the swallows whose flight
had followed with idle eyes were sleeping.
She had passed through the dusk. And therefore the
air was silent save for one soft hiss that fell. And there-
fore the tongues about him had ceased their babble.
Darkness was falling.
Darkness falls from the air.
A trembling joy, lambent as a faint light, played like
a fairy host around him. But why? Her passage
through the darkening air or the verse with its black
vowels and its opening sound, rich and lutelike ?
He walked away slowly towards the deeper shadows
at the end of the colonnade, beating the stone softly
with his stick to hide his revery from the students
whom he had left : and allowed his mind to summon back
to itself the age of Dowland and Byrd and Nash.
Eyes, opening from the darkness of desire, eyes that
dimmed the breaking east. What was their languid
grace but the softness of chambering? And what was
their shimmer but the shimmer of the scum that mantled
the cesspool of the court of a slobbering Stuart. And
he tasted in the language of memory ambered wines,
dying fallings of sweet airs, the proud pavan: and saw
with the eyes of memory kind gentlewomen in Covent
Garden wooing from their balconies with sucking mouths
and the pox fouled wenches of the taverns and young
wives that, gaily yielding to their ravishers, clipped and
The images he had summoned gave him no pleasure.
They were secret and enflaming but her image was not
entangled by them. That was not the way to think of
her. It was not even the way in which he thought of
her. Could his mind then not trust itself ? Old phrases,
sweet only with a disinterred sweetness like the fig seeds
Cranly rooted out of his gleaming teeth.
It was not thought nor vision, though he knew vaguely
that her figure was passing homeward through the city.
Vaguely first and then more sharply he smelt her body.
A conscious unrest seethed in his blood. Yes, it was
her body he smelt : a wild and languid smell : the tepid
limbs over which his music had flowed desirously and
the secret soft linen upon which her flesh distilled odour
and a dew.
A louse crawled over the nape of his neck and, putting
his thumb and forefinger deftly beneath his loose collar,
he caught it. He rolled its body, tender yet brittle as a
grain of rice, between thumb and finger for an instant
before he let it fall from him and wondered would
it live or die. There came to his mind a curious phrase
from Cornelius a Lapide which said that the lice born
of human sweat were not created by God with the other
animals on the sixth day. But the tickling of the skin
of his neck made his mind raw and red. The life of his
body, ill clad, ill fed, louse eaten, made him close his
eyelids in a sudden spasm of despair: and in the dark-
ness he saw the brittle bright bodies of lice falling from
the air and turning often as they fell. Yes ; and it was
not darkness that fell from the air. It was brightness.
Brightness falls from the air.
He had not even remembered rightly Nash 's line. All
the images it had awakened were false. His mind bred
vermin. His thoughts were lice born of the sweat of
He came back quickly along the colonnade towards
the group of students. Well then let her go and be
damned to her! She could love some clean athlete who
washed himself every morning to the waist and had black
hair on his chest. Let her.
Cranly had taken another dried fig from the supply
in his pocket and was eating it slowly and noisily.
Temple sat on the pediment of a pillar, leaning back,
his cap pulled down on his sleepy eyes. A squat young
man came out of the porch, a leather portfolio tucked
under his armpit. He marched towards the group, strik-
ing the flags with the heels of his boots and with the fer-
rule of his heavy umbrella. Then, raising the umbrella
in salute, he said to all ;
— Good evening, sirs. —
He struck the flags again and tittered while his head
trembled with a slight nervous movement. The tall
consumptive student and Dixon and O'Keeffe were
speaking in Irish and did not answer him. Then, turn-
ing to Cranly, he said :
— Good evening, particularly to you. —
He moved the umbrella in indication and tittered
again. Cranly, who was still chewing the fig, answered
with loud movements of his jaws.
— Good ? Yes. It is a good evening. —
The squat student looked at him seriously and shook
his umbrella gently and reprovingly.
— I can see — he said — that you are about to make
obvious remarks. —
— Um — Cranly answered, holding out what remained
of the half chewed fig and jerking it towards the squat
student's mouth in sign that he should eat.
The squat student did not eat it but, indulging his
special humour, said gravely, still tittering and prodding
his phrase with his umbrella :
— Do you intend that . . . —
He broke off, pointed bluntly to the munched pulp of
the fig and said loudly :
— I allude to that. —
— Um — Cranly said as before.
— Do you intend that now — the squat student said
— as ipso facto or, let us say, as so to speak 1 —
Dixon turned aside from his group, saying :
— Goggins was waiting for you, Glynn. He has gone
round to the Adelphi to look for you and Moynihan.
What have you there ? — he asked, tapping the portfolio
under Glynn *s arm.
— Examination papers — Glynn answered. — I give
them monthly examinations to see that they are profiting
by my tuition. —
He also tapped the portfolio and coughed gently and
— Tuition! — said Cranly rudely. — I suppose you
mean the barefooted children that are taught by a bloody
ape like you. God help them ! —
He bit off the rest of the fig and flung away the butt.
— I suffer little children to come unto me — Glynn
— A bloody ape — Cranly repeated with emphasis —
and a blasphemous bloody ape ! —
Temple stood up and, pushing past Cranly addressed
— That phrase you said now — he said — is from the
new testament about suffer the children to come to me. —
— Go to sleep again. Temple — said O 'Keeffe.
— Very well, then — Temple continued, still addressing
Glynn — and if Jesus suffered the children to come why
does the church send them all to hell if they die un-
baptised.t "Why is that? —
— Were you baptised yourself, Temple ? — the con-
sumptive student asked.
— But why are they sent to hell if Jesus said they were
all to come? — Temple said, his eyes searching Glynn's
Glynn coughed and said gently, holding back with
difficulty the nervous titter in his voice and moving his
umbrella at every word :
— And, as you remark, if it is thus I ask emphatically
whence comes this thusness. —
— Because the church is cruel like all old sinners —
— Are you quite orthodox on that point. Temple ? —
Dixon said suavely.
— Saint Augustine says that about unbaptised children
going to hell — Temple answered — because he was a
cruel old sinner too. —
— I bow to you — Dixon said — but I had the impres-
sion that limbo existed for such cases. —
— Don't argue with him, Dixon — Cranly said
brutally. — Don't talk to him or look at him. Lead
him home with a sugan the way you'd lead a bleating
— Limbo ! — Temple cried. — That 's a fine invention
too. Like hell. —
— But with the unpleasantness left out — Dixon said.
He turned smiling to the others and said :
— I think I am voicing the opinions of all present in
saying so much. —
— You are — Glynn said in a firm tone. — On that
point Ireland is united. —
He struck the ferrule of his umbrella on the stone floor
of the colonnade.
— Hell — Temple said. — I can respect that invention
of the grey spouse of Satan. Hell is Roman, like the
walls of the Romans, strong and ugly. But what is
— Put him back into the perambulator, Cranly —
O'Keeffe called out.
Cranly made a swift step towards Temple, halted,
stamping his foot, crying as if to a fowl :
— Hoosh ! —
Temple moved away nimbly.
— Do you know what limbo is? — he cried. — Do you
know what we call a notion like that in Roscom-
— Hoosh! Blast you! — Cranly cried, clapping his
— Neither my arse nor my elbow ! — Temple cried out
scornfully — And that 's what I call limbo. —
— Give us that stick here — Cranly said.
He snatched the ashplant roughly from Stephen's
hand and sprang down the steps: but Temple, hearing
him move in pursuit, fled through the dusk like a wild
creature, nimble and fleet footed. Cranly 's heavy boots
were heard loudly charging across the quadrangle and
then returning heavily, foiled and spuming the gravel
at each step.
His step was angry and with an angry abrupt gesture
he thrust the stick back into Stephen's hand. Stephen
felt that his anger had another cause, but feigning pa-
tience, touched his arm slightly and said quietly :
— Cranly, I told you I wanted to speak to you. Come
Cranly looked at him for a few moments and asked :
— Now? —
— Yes, now — Stephen said — We can't speak here.
Come away. —
They crossed the quadrangle together without speak-
ing. The bird call from Siegfried whistled softly fol-
lowed them from the steps of the porch. Cranly turned :
and Dixon, who had whistled, called out :
— "Where are you fellows off to? What about that
game, Cranly? —
They parleyed in shouts across the still air about a
game of billiards to be played in the Adelphi hotel.
Stephen walked on alone and out into the quiet of Kil-
dare Street opposite Maple's hotel he stood to wait,
patient again. The name of the hotel, a colourless pol-
ished wood, and its colourless front stung him like a
glance of polite disdain. He stared angrily back at the
softly lit drawingroom of the hotel in which he imagined
the sleek lives of the patricians of Ireland housed in
calm. They thought of army commissions and land
agents: peasants greeted them along the roads in the
country: they knew the names of certain French dishes
and gave orders to jarvies in highpitched provin-
cial voices which pierced through their skintight ac-
How could he hit their conscience or how cast his
shadow over the imaginations of their daughters, before
their squires begat upon them, that they might breed
a race less ignoble than their own? And under the
deepened dusk he felt the thoughts and desires of the
race to which he belonged flitting like bats, across the
dark country lanes, under trees by the edges of streams
and near the pool mottled bogs. A woman had waited
in the doorway as Davin had passed by at night and,
offering him a cup of milk, had all but wooed him to her
bed: for Davin had the mild eyes of one who could be
secret. But him no woman's eyes had wooed.
Ilis arm was taken in a strong grip and Cranly's voice
— Let us eke go. —
They walked southward in silence. Then Cranly said :
— That blithering idiot, Temple! I swear to Moses,
do you know, that I'll be the death of that fellow one
But his voice was no longer angry and Stephen won-
dered was he thinking of her greeting to him under the
They turned to the left and walked on as before.
"When they had gone on so far for some time Stephen
— Cranly, I had an unpleasant quarrel this evening. —
— With your people 1 — Cranly asked.
— With my mother. —
— About religion ? —
— Yes — Stephen answered.
After a pause Cranly asked :
— What age is your mother ? —
— Not old — Stephen said. — She wishes me to make
my caster duty. —
— And will you ? —
— I will not — Stephen said.
— Why not ? — Cranly said.
— I will not serve — answered Stephen.
— That remark was made before — Cranly said calmly.
— It is made behind now — said Stephen hotly.
Cranly pressed Stephen's arm, saying:
— Go easy, my dear man. You're an excitable bloody
man, do you know. —
He laughed nervously as he spoke and, looking up
into Stephen's face with moved and friendly eyes,
— Do you know that you are an excitable man ? —
— I daresay I am — said Stephen, laughing also.
Their minds, lately estranged, seemed suddenly to have
been drawn closer, one to the other.
— Do you believe in the eucharist ? — Cranly asked.
— I do not — Stephen said.
— Do you disbelieve then ? —
— I neither believe in it nor disbelieve in it — Stephen
— Many persons have doubts, even religious persons,
yet they overcome them or put them aside — Cranly said.
— Are your doubts on that point too strong ? —
— I do not wish to overcome them — Stephen an-
Cranly, embarrassed for a moment, took another fig
from his pocket and was about to eat it when Stephen
— Don't, please. You cannot discuss this question
with your mouth full of chewed fig. —
Cranly examined the fig by the light of a lamp under
which he halted. Then he smelt it with both nostrils,
bit a tiny piece, spat it out and threw the fig rudely into
the gutter. Addressing it as it lay, he said :
— Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire ! —
Taking Stephen's arm, he went on again and said:
— Do you not fear that those words may be spoken
to you on the day of judgment ? —
— What is offered me on the other hand ? — Stephen
asked. — An eternity of bliss in the company of the dean
of studies ? —
— Remember — Cranly said — that he would be glori-
— Ay — Stephen said somewhat bitterly — bright
agile, impassible and, above all, subtle.
— It is a curious thing, do you know — Cranly said
dispassionately — how your mind is supersaturated with
the religion in which you say you disbelieve. Did you
believe in it when you were at school ? I bet you did. —
— I did — Stephen answered.
— And were you happier then ? — Cranly asked softly
— happier than you are now, for instance ? —
— Often happy — Stephen said — and often unhappy.
I was someone else then. —
— How someone else? What do you mean by that
statement ? —
— I mean — said Stephen — that I was not myself as
I am now, as I had to become. —
— Not as you are now, not as you had to become —
Cranly repeated. — Let me ask you a question. Do you
love your mother ? —
Stephen shook his head slowly.
— I don't know what your words mean — he said
— Have you never loved anyone ? — Cranly asked.
— Do you mean women ? —
— I am not speaking of that — Cranly said in a colder
tone. — I ask you if you ever felt love towards anyone
or anything. —
Stephen walked on beside his friend, staring gloomily
at the footpath.
— I tried to love God — he said at length. — It seems
now I failed. It is very difficult. I tried to unite my
will with the will of God instant by instant. In that I
did not always fail. I could perhaps do that still . . . —
Cranly cut him short by asking :
— Has your mother had a happy life ? —
— How do I know ? — Stephen said.
— How many children had she ? —
— Nine or ten — Stephen answered. — Some died. —
— Was your father . . . . — Cranly interrupted him-
self for an instant: and then said: — I don't want to
pry into your family affairs. But was your father what
is called well-to-do? I mean when you were growing
— Yes — Stephen said.
— "What was he ? — Cranly asked after a pause.
Stephen began to enumerate glibly his father's attri-
— A medical student, an oarsman, a tenor, an amateur
actor, a shouting politician, a small landlord, a small
investor, a drinker, a good fellow, a storyteller, some-
body 's secretary, something in a distillery, a taxgatherer,
a bankrupt and at present a praiser of his own past. —
Cranly laughed, tightening his grip on Stephen's arm,
and said :
— The distillery is damn good. —
— Is there anything else you want to know? —
— Are you in good circumstances at present ? —
— Do I look it ? — Stephen asked bluntly.
— So then — Cranly went on musingly — you were
born in the lap of luxury. —
He used the phrase broadly and loudly as he often
used technical expressions as if he wished his hearer
to understand that they were used by him without con-
— Your mother must have gone through a good deal
of suffering — he said then. — Would you not try to
save her from suffering more even if ... or would
— If I could — Stephen said — that would cost me
very little. —
— Then do so — Cranly said. — Do as she wishes you
to do. What is it for you ? You disbelieve in it. It is
a form: nothing else. And you will set her mind at
He ceased and, as Stephen did not reply, remained
silent. Then, as if giving utterance to the process of his
own thought, he said :
— Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of
a world a mother 's love is not. Your mother brings you
into the world, carries you first in her body. What do
we know about what she feels ? But whatever she feels,
it, at least, must be real. It must be. What are our
ideas or ambitions? Play. Ideas! Why, that bloody
bleating goat Temple has ideas. MacCann has ideas too.
Every jackass going the roads thinks he has ideas. —
Stephen, who had been listening to the unspoken
speech behind the words, said with assumed careless-
— Pascal, if I remember rightly, would not suffer his
mother to kiss him as he feared the contact of her
— Pascal was a pig — said Cranly.
— Aloysius Gonzaga, I think, was of the same mind —
— And he was another pig then — said Cranly.
— The church calls him a saint — Stephen objected.
— I don't care a flaming damn what anyone calls him
— Cranly said rudely and flatly. — I call him a pig. —
Stephen, preparing the words neatly in his mind, con-
— Jesus, too, seems to have treated his mother with
scant courtesy in public but Suarez a Jesuit theologian
and Spanish gentleman, has apologised for him. —
— Did the idea ever occur to you — Cranly asked —
that Jesus was not what he pretended to be ? —
— The first person to whom that idea occurred —
Stephen answered — was Jesus himself. —
— I mean — Cranly said, hardening in his speech —
did the idea ever occur to you that he was himself a
conscious hypocrite, what he called the jews of his time,
a white sepulchre-? Or, to put it more plainly, that he
was a blackguard ? —
— That idea never occurred to me — Stephen an-
swered. — But I am curious to know are you trying to
make a convert of me or a pervert of yourself ? —
He turned towards his friend's face and saw there a
raw smile which some force of will strove to make finely
Cranly asked suddenly in a plain sensible tone: —
Tell me the truth. Were you at all shocked by what I
said ? —
— Somewhat — Stephen said.
— And why were you shocked — Cranly pressed on in
the same tone — if you feel sure that our religion is false
and that Jesus was not the son of God ? —
— I am not at all sure of it — Stephen said. — He is
more like a son of God than a son of Mary. —
— And is that why you will not communicate —
Cranly asked — because you are not sure of that too,
because you feel that the host, too, may be the body and
blood of the son of God and not a wafer of bread t
And because you fear that it may be ? —
— Yes — Stephen said quietly — I feel that and I also
— I see. — Cranly said.
Stephen, struck by his tone of closure, reopened the
discussion at once by saying :
— I fear many things : dogs, horses, firearms, the sea,
thunderstorms, machinery, the country roads at night. —
— But why do you fear a bit of bread ? —
— I imagine — Stephen said — that there is a malevo-
lent reality behind those things I say I fear. —
— Do you fear then — Cranly asked — that the God of
the Roman catholics would strike you dead and damn
you if you made a sacrilegious communion ? —
— The God of the Roman catholics could do that
now — Stephen said. — I fear more than that the
chemical action which would be set up in my soul by a
false homage to a symbol behind which are massed twenty
centuries of authority and veneration. —
— Would you — Cranly asked — in extreme danger
commit that particular sacrilege? For instance, if you
lived in the penal days ? —
— I cannot answer for the past — Stephen replied. —
Possibly not. —
— Then — said Cranly — you do not intend to become
a protestant? —
— I said that I had lost the faith — Stephen answered
— but not that I had lost self respect. What kind of
liberation would that be to forsake an absurdity which
is logical and coherent and to embrace one which is illogi-
cal and incoherent ? —
They had walked on towards the township of Pem-
broke and now, as they went on slowly along the avenues,
the trees and the scattered lights in the villas soothed
their minds. The air of wealth and repose diffused
about them seemed to comfort their neediness. Behind
a hedge of laurel a light glimmered in the window of a
kitchen and the voice of a servant was heard singing
as she sharpened knives. She sang, in short broken bars,
Rosie 'Grady —
Cranly stopped to listen, saying :
— Mulier ca7itat. —
The soft beauty of the Latin word touched with an
enchanting touch the dark of the evening, with a touch
fainter and more persuading than the touch of music
or of a woman's hand. The strife of their minds was
quelled. The figure of woman as she appears in the
liturgy of the church passed silently through the dark-
ness: a white robed figure, small and slender as a boy,
and with a falling girdle. Her voice, frail and high as a
boy's, was heard intoning from a distant choir the first
words of a woman which pierce the gloom and clamour
of the first chanting of the passion :
— Et tu cum Jesu GaliloBo eras. —
And all hearts were touched and turned to her voice,
shining like a young star, shining clearer as the voice
intoned the proparoxyton and more faintly as the
The singing ceased. They went on together, Cranly
repeating in strongly stressed rhythm the end of the re-
And when we are married,
O, how happy we'll he
For I love sweet Rosie 'Grady
And Rosie 'Grady loves me,
— There's real poetry for you — he said. — There's
real love. —
lie glanced sideways at Stephen with a strange smile
and said :
— Do you consider that poetry? Or do you know
what the words mean ? —
— I want to see Rosie first — said Stephen.
— She's easy to find — Cranly said.
His hat had come down on his forehead. lie shoved
it back: and in the shadow of the trees Stephen saw
his pale face, framed by the dark, and his large dark
eyes. Yes. His face was handsome; and his body was
strong and hard. He had spoken of a mother's love.
He felt then the sufferings of women, the weaknesses of
their bodies and souls: and would shield them with a
strong and resolute arm and bow his mind to them.
Away then : it is time to go. A voice spoke softly to
Stephen's lonely heart, bidding him go and telling him
that his friendship was coming to an end. Yes; he
would go. He could not strive against another. He
knew his part.
— Probably I shall go away — he said.
— Where? — Cranly asked.
— Wliere I can — Stephen said.
— Yes — Cranly said. — It might be diflScult for you to
live here now. But is it that makes you go ? —
— I have to go — Stephen answered.
— Because — Cranly continued — you need not look
upon yourself as driven away if you do not wish to go or
as a heretic or an outlaw. There are many good believers
who think as you do. Would that surprise you? The
church is not the stone building nor even the clergy
and their dogmas. It is the whole mass of those born
into it. I don't know what you wish to do in life. Is
it what you told me the night we were standing outside
Harcourt Street station ? —
— Yes — Stephen said, smiling in spite of himself at
Cranly 's way of remembering thoughts in connexion with
places. — The night you spent half an hour wrangling
with Doherty about the shortest way from Sallygap to
— Pothead ! — Cranly said with calm contempt. —
What does he know about the way from Sallygap to
Larras ? Or what does he know about anything for that
matter? And the big slobbering washingpot head of
He broke out into a loud long laugh.
— Well ? — Stephen said. — Do you remember the
— What you said, is it ? — Cranly asked. — Yes, I re-
member it. To discover the mode of life or of art
whereby your spirit could express itself in unfettered
Stephen raised his hat in acknowledgment.
— Freedom ! — Cranly repeated. — But you are not
free enough yet to commit a sacrilege. Tell me would
you rob ? —
— I would beg first — Stephen said.
— And if you got nothing, would you rob ? —
— You wish me to say — Stephen answered — that
the rights of property are provisional and that in certain
circumstances it is not unlawful to rob. Everyone would
act in that belief. So I will not make you that answer.
Apply to the Jesuit theologian Juan Mariana de Tala-
vera who will also explain to you in what circumstances
you may lawfully kill your king and whether you had
better hand him his poison in a goblet or smear it for
him upon his robe or his saddlebow. Ask me rather
would I suffer others to rob me or, if they did, would I
call down upon them what I believe is called the chastise-
ment of the secular arm ? —
— And would you ? —
— I think — Stephen said — it would pain me as much
to do as to be robbed. —
— I see — Cranly said.
He produced his match and began to clean the crevice
between two teeth. Then he said carelessly :
— Tell me, for example, would you deflower a vir-
— Excuse me — Stephen said politely — is that not
the ambition of most young gentlemen ? —
— What then is your point of view ? — Cranly asked.
His last phrase, sour smelling as the smoke of charcoal
and disheartening, excited Stephen's brain, over which
its fumes seemed to brood.
— Look here, Cranly — he said. — You have asked me
what I would do and what I would not do. I will tell
you what I will do and what I will not do. I will not
serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call
itself my home, my fatherland or my church: and I
will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as
freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my
defence the only arms I allow myself to use, silence, ex-
ile and cunning. —
Cranly seized his arm and steered him round so as to
lead back towards Lesson Park. He laughed almost slyly
and pressed Stephen's arm with an elder's affection.
— Cunning indeed I — he said. — Is it you ? You poor
poet, you ! —
— And you made me confess to you — Stephen said,
thrilled by his touch — as I have confessed to you so
many other things, have I not ? —
— Yes, my child — Cranly said, still gaily.
— You made me confess the fears that I have. But I
will tell you also what I do not fear. I do not fear to
be alone or to be spurned for another or to leave what-
ever I have to leave. And I am not afraid to make a
mistake, even a great mistake, a lifelong mistake and per-
haps as long as eternity too. —
Cranly, now grave again, slowed his pace and said :
— Alone, quite alone. You have no fear of that.
And you know what that word means? Not only to
be separate from all others but to have not even one
— I will take the risk — said Stephen.
— And not to have any one person — Cranly said —
who would be more than a friend, more even than the
noblest and truest friend a man ever had. —
His words seemed to have struck some deep chord
in his own nature. Had he spoken of himself, of himself
as he was or wished to be? Stephen watched his face
for some moments in silence. A cold sadness was there.
He had spoken of himself, of his own loneliness which
— Of whom are you speaking ? — Stephen asked at
Cranly did not answer.
March 20. Long talk with Cranly on the subject of
He had his grand manner on. I supple and suave.
Attacked me on the score of love for one's mother.
Tried to imagine his mother; cannot. Told me once, in
a moment of thoughtlessness, his father was sixty-one
when he was born. Can see him. Strong farmer type.
Pepper and salt suit. Square feet. Unkempt grizzled
beard. Probably attends coursing matches. Pays his
dues regularly but not plentifully to Father Dwyer of
Larras. Sometimes talks to girls after nightfall. But
his mother ? Very young or very old ? Hardly the first.
If so, Cranly would not have spoken as he did. Old
then. Probably, and neglected. Hence Cranly 's despair
of soul : the child of exhausted loins.
March 21, morning. Thought this in bed last night
but was too lazy and free to add it. Free, yes. The
exhausted loins are those of Elizabeth and Zacchary.
Then he is the precursor. Item: he eats chiefly belly
bacon and dried figs. Read locusts and wild honey.
Also, when thinking of him, saw always a stern severed
head or death mask as if outlined on a grey curtain or
veronica. Decollation they call it in the fold. Puzzled
for the moment by saint John at the Latin gate. What
do I see? A decollated precursor trying to pick the
March 21, night. Free. Soul free and fancy free.
Let the dead bury the dead. Ay. And let the dead
marry the dead.
March 22. In company with Lynch followed a sizable
hospital nurse. Lynch 's idea. Dislike it. Two lean
hungry greyhounds walking after a heifer.
March 23. Have not seen her since that night. Un-
well? Sits at the fire perhaps with mamma's shawl on
her shoulders. But not peevish. A nice bowl of gruel?
Won't you now?
March 24. Began with a discussion with my mother.
Subject: B.V.M. Handicapped by my sex and youth.
To escape held up relations between Jesus and Papa
against those between Mary and her son. Said religion
was not a lying-in hospital. Mother indulgent. Said
I have a queer mind and have read too much. Not true.
Have read little and understood less. Then she said I
would come back to faith because I had a restless mind.
This means to leave church by backdoor of sin and re-
enter through the skylight of repentance. Cannot re-
pent. Told her so and asked for sixpence. Got three-
Then went to college. Other wrangle with little round
head rogue's eye Ghezzi. This time about Bruno the
Nolan. Began in Italian and ended in pidgin English.
He said Bruno was a terrible heretic. I said he was ter-
ribly burned. He agreed to this with some sorrow.
Then gave me recipe for what he calls ristollo alia her-
gamasca. "When he pronounces a soft o he protrudes
his full carnal lips as if he kissed the vowel. Has he?
And could he repent? Yes, he could: and cry two
round rogue's tears, one from each eye.
Crossing Stephen's, that is, my Green, remembered
that his countrymen and not mine had invented what
Cranly the other night called our religion. A quartet of
them, soldiers of the ninetyseventh infantry regiment,
sat at the foot of the cross and tossed up dice for the
overcoat of the crucified.
"Went to library. Tried to read three reviews. Use-
less. She is not out yet. Am I alarmed ? About what ?
That she will never be out again.
Blake wrote :
7 wonder if William Bond will die,
For assuredly he is very HI.
Alas, poor William !
I was once at a diorama in Rotunda. At the end were
pictures of big nobs. Among them William Ewart Glad-
stone, just then dead. Orchestra played 0, Willie, we
have missed you.
A race of clodhoppers !
March 25, morning. A troubled night of dreams.
Want to get them off my chest
A long curving gallery. From the floor ascend pillars
of dark vapours. It is peopled by the images of fabulous
kings, set in stone. Their hands are folded upon their
knees in token of weariness and their eyes are darkened
for the errors of men go up before them for ever as dark
• Strange figures advance as from a cave. They are
not as tall as men. One does not seem to stand quite
apart from another. Their faces are phosphorescent,
with darker streaks. They peer at me and their eyes
seem to ask me something. They do not speak.
March 30. This evening Cranly was in the porch of
the library, proposing a problem to Dixon and her
brother. A mother let her child fall into the Nile. Still
harping on the mother. A crocodile seized the child.
Mother asked it back. Crocodile said all right if she
told him what he was going to do with the child, eat it or
not eat it.
This mentality, Lepidus would say, is indeed bred out
of your mud by the operation of your sun.
And mine t Is it not too ? Then into Nile mud with
April 1. Disapprove of this last phrase.
April 2. Saw her drinking tea and eating cakes in
Johnston's, Mooney and O'Brien's. Rather, lynx eyed
Lynch saw her as we passed. He tells me Cranly was
invited there by brother. Did he bring his crocodile?
Is he the shining light now? Well, I discovered him.
I protest I did. Shining quietly behind a bushel of
April 3. Met Davin at the cigar shop opposite Find-
later 's church. He was in a black sweater and had a
hurley stick. Asked me was it true I was going away
and why. Told him the shortest way to Tara was via
Holyhead. Just then my father came up. Introduction.
Father, polite and observant. Asked Davin if he might
offer him some refreshment. Davin could not, was go-
ing to a meeting. When we came away father told me he
had a good honest eye. Asked me why I did not join a
rowing club. I pretended to think it over. Told me
then how he broke Pennyf eather 's heart. Wants me to
read law. Says I was cut out for that. More mud, more
April 5. Wild spring. Scudding clouds. life!
Dark stream of swirling bogwater on which apple trees
have cast down their delicate flowers. Eyes of girls
among the leaves. Girls demure and romping. All fair
or auburn : no dark ones. They blush better. Houp-la !
April 6. Certainly she remembers the past. Lynch
says all women do. Then she remembers the time of her
childhood — and mine if I was ever a child. The past
is consumed in the present and the present is living only
because it brings forth the future. Statues of women,
if Lynch be right, should always be fully draped, one
hand of the woman feeling regretfully her own hinder
April, 6, later, Michael Robartes remembers forgot-
ten beauty and, when his arms wrap her round, he presses
in his arms the loveliness which has long faded from the
world. Not this. Not at all. I desire to press in my
arms the loveliness which has not yet come into the
April 10. Faintly, under the heavy night, through
the silence of the city which has turned from dreams
to dreamless sleep as a weary lover whom no caresses
move, the sound of hoofs upon the road. Not so faintly
now as they come near the bridge : and in a moment as
they pass the darkened windows the silence is cloven by
alarm as by an arrow. They are heard now far away,
hoofs that shine amid the heavy night as gems, hurrying
beyond the sleeping fields to what journey 's end — what
heart ? — bearing what tidings ?
April 11. Read what I wrote last night. Vague
words for a vague emotion. Would she like it ? I think
so. Then I should have to like it also.
April 13. That tundish has been on my mind for a
long time. I looked it up and find it English and good
old blunt English too. Damn the dean of studies and
his funnel ! What did he come here for to teach us his
own language or to learn it from us. Damn him one
way or the other !
April 14. John Alphonsus Mulrennan has just re-
turned from the west of Ireland, European and Asiatic
papers please copy. He told us he met an old man there
in a mountain cabin. Old man had red eyes and short
pipe. Old man spoke Irish. Mulrennan spoke Irish.
Then old man and Mulrennan spoke English. Mulren-
nan spoke to him about universe and stars. Old man sat,
listened, smoked, spat. Then said :
— Ah, there must be terrible queer creatures at the lat-
ter end of the world. —
I fear him. I fear his redrimmed horny eyes. It is
with him I must struggle all through this night till day
come, till he or I lie dead, gripping him by the sinewy
throat till . . . Till what? Till he yield to me? No.
I mean him no harm.
April 15. Met her today point blank in Grafton
Street. The crowd brought us together. We both
stopped. She asked me why I never came, said she
had heard all sorts of stories about me. This was only
to gain time. Asked me, was I writing poems? About
whom ? I asked her. This confused her more and I felt
sorry and mean. Turned off that valve at once and
opened the spiritual-heroic refrigerating apparatus, in-
vented and patented in all countries by Dante Alighieri.
Talked rapidly of myself and my plans. In the midst of
it unluckily I made a sudden gesture of a revolutionary
nature. I must have looked like a fellow throwing a
handful of peas up into the air. People began to look at
us. She shook hands a moment after and, in going away,
said she hoped I would do what I said.
Now I call that friendly, don't you?
Yes, I liked her today. A little or much? Don't
know. I liked her and it seems a new feeling to me.
Then, in that case, all the rest, all that I thought I
thought and all that I felt I felt, all the rest before
now, in fact ... 0, give it up, old chap ! Sleep it off !
April 16. Away ! Away !
The spell of arms and voices : the white arms of roads,
their promise of close embraces and the black arms of
tall ships that stand against the moon, their tale of dis-
tant nations. They are held out to say : We are alone
— come. And the voices say with them : We are your
kinsmen. And the air is thick with their company as
they call to me, their kinsman, making ready to go, shak-
ing the wings of their exultant and terrible youth.
April 26. Mother is putting my new secondhand
clothes in order. She prays now, she says, that I may
learn in my own life and away from home and friends
tvhat the heart is and what it feels. Amen. So be it.
Welcome, life! I go to encounter for the millionth
time the reality of experience and to forge in the smithy
of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
April 27. Old father, old artificer, stand me now and
ever in good stead.